Art Wednesday: Albercht Durer

Self portrait at 26
Albrecht Durer
Painter during the Renaissance

Albrecht Durer was born in Nuremberg. His family came from Hungary, germanizing the family name of Thürer when they settled in Nuremberg soon after the middle of the 15th century. His father, also called Albrecht, was a goldsmith and served as assistant to Hieronymus Helfer, and in 1468 married his daughter Barbara. They had eighteen children, of whom Albrecht was the second. Albrecht's brother, Hans Durer, became a famous artist as well.

Durer started his career as the apprenticed to the principal painter of the town, Durer learned not only painting but also wood carving and elementary copper engraving.  He married in 1494, an arranged marriage, then promptly left his wife in Nuremberg as he traveled to Italy to develop his etchings. A year later he returned to Nuremberg where he appeared to remain for approximately 10 years.

In early 1506 he returned to Venice, and stayed there until the spring of 1507. Durer's engravings had by this time attained great popularity and had begun to be copied. In 1512 Maximilian I (Holy Roman Emperor) became his patron and commissioned a number of large works increasing his popularity.  In the latter part of his life he painted in the Netherlands, went to Brussels to paint the portrait of the King of Denmark and parts of Germany before returning home in 1521 due to illness.

His range of works is interesting - from the usual religious paintings that all Renaissances painters did, through to landscapes, the human form (experimenting and perfecting his skill) and to nature - "The Hare" (below) is one that is best known.  He is now considered one of the greatest painters of the Northern Renaissance.

He died at the age of 56 leaving behind a large collection of paintings, etchings and books (both on mathematics and the human form).

Self portrait at 28
An etching of Durer's mother

A painting of Durur's father
A portrait of a young Venetian woman
Hand study with Bible
Four Apostles
Nuremberg woman dressed for church

The large turf
The hare
A parrot in three positions
Pond in the woods

To for more examples of Durer art:

From now to the 9th of April 2012, the National Art Gallery in Canberra is exhibiting 70 paintings from the Renaissance period (link).  My husband and I have our tickets booked and on the 27th of December we are going to see this wonderful collection of art from the - which will include works by Raphael, Botticelli, Bellini and Titian, sadly no Durer as it only covers Italian Renaissance painters.



  1. I'm always fascinated by the fact that some artists paint people to look a little too good (like advertisers air-brush their models), and some paint exactly what they see - it seems like this artist must have done the latter with the pieces at the top of your post!! The sketch of his mother is almost ugly!!

  2. Clara - do you think he made himself look more handsome than he really was!!

    But I do love the grass and rabbit - the main reason for including this artist was for the rabbitt!!

  3. lol I knew nearly all these ~ except The Hare! I actually really like the portrait of his mother. Always wondered if she really did look like that! ☺

  4. Oops - a hare not a rabbit!! Women did age quickly in those days, maybe she lived a hard life.


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