vendredi 13 juin 2014

Durer Paintings

By Darren Hartley

Echoes of Italian art are apparent in most of Durer paintings, drawings and graphics. Italian influences were slower to show in his graphics than in his drawings and paintings. Albrecht Durer was the central figure in the German Renaissance and one of the most outstanding personalities in the history of art.

One of the 1496 versatile Durer paintings was a portrait of Frederick the Wise, the Elector of Saxony at the time, who became one of Albrecht's patrons. Albrecht started as an apprentice in the workshop of Michael Wolgemut, a Nuremberg artist between 1486 through 1489. Travelling became a passion starting in 1490.

Durer paintings were also known for their portraits, which were frequently commissioned from him. Among the best works from this lot are Portrait of Durer's Father at 70, Portrait of Oswolt Krel, Portrait of Bernard von Reesen and Portrait of Hieronymus Holzschuher.

It was in 1495 that Albrecht established his own workshop in Nuremberg. Durer paintings consisted of a lot of watercolour landscapes and nature studies throughout Albrecht's life. Most notable of these landscapes are Saint John's Church, House by a Pond, Willow Mill, A Young Hare and The Large Turf.

A monumental print project among Durer paintings is represented by The Triumphal Arch. It was 330 cm or 11" high and composed of 192 woodblocks. It remains to be the largest woodcut print ever made to this day. Emperor Maximilian, who commissioned the huge print, granted Albrecht a pension of 100 florins, which was subsequently stopped upon the Emperor's death in 1519.

Durer paintings consisted of over 350 woodcuts and engravings, which appeared with his famous AD monogram. At least 60 of Albrecht's oil paintings have survived. There are a thousand of his drawings and watercolours, saved on paper, sometimes inscribing them with his monogram, the year it was completed and a few words of explanation about the subject matter.

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