GREAT ART OF THE WORLD:

DURER

 

Dear Friends,

I am afraid this might well be my last release of this forum, as  unfortunately I will not be able to post any new thread in a very long time. I am very sorry about this.

For the time being, however, let me continue the  Renaissance series by featuring the
German Northern Renaissance painter and engraver Albrecht Dürer, by far the greatest exponent of the Northern European Renaissance art. With this in mind, I have selected for this presentation one of his less known but, in my opinion, best paintings: Pond in the Woods, a magnificently coloured watercolour that depicts pine trees around a pond or lake - most probably in the sandy heathland near Nuremberg - whose powerful atmosphere is a wonderful vision of primeval nature. This masterpiece is thought to have been painted during Dürer's second trip to Italy in 1505-6.

NOTE: To view a larger image of the painting, you may click HERE or directly on the picture below.

While an important painter, in his own day Dürer was renowned foremost for his graphic works. Artists across Europe admired and copied Dürer's innovative and powerful prints, ranging from religious and mythological scenes to maps and exotic animals, which in addition are notable for their detail and precision. The son of a goldsmith, Dürer was trained as a metalworker at a young age. He applied the same meticulous, exacting methods required in this delicate work to his woodcuts and engravings, notably the Four Horsemen of his Apocalypse series (1498), and his Knight, Death and Devil (1513).

Dürer's training also involved travel and study abroad. He went to Italy in 1494, and returned again in 1505-6. Contact with Italian painters resonated deeply in his art. Influenced by Venetian artists, who were renowned for the richness of their palette, Dürer placed greater importance on colour in his paintings. His Feast of the Rose Garlands (1506) removed any doubt that, as well as a master of prints, he was an accomplished painter. (Main Source: http://www.artcyclopedia.com/history/northern-renaissance.html.)

He studied under Matthias Grünewald (1470-1528) and was in turn the teacher of Hans Baldung (1484-1545).

Other favorite paintings and prints by Dürer include:
 
Paintings: Self-Portrait at 26 (1498), Portrait of Elsbeth Tucher (1498),
Portrait of Oswolt Krel (1499), Self-Portrait in a Fur-Collared Robe (1500), Lamentation for Christ (1500-03),
Adoration of the Magi (1504), Adam and Eve (1507), The Landauer Altar with The Adoration of The Trinity (1511), The Madonna of the Carnation (1516), Portrait of Johannes Kleberger (1526), The Four Holy Men (1526).

Watercolors: Young Hare (1502), The Large Turf (1503). 

Engravings: Adam and Eve (1504), Crucifixion (1508), Melencolia (1514).

As always, your good feedback will be treasured.

Thank you,

Luis Miguel Goitizolo


GREAT MASTERS OF PAINTING


Pond in the Woods (1)
by Albrecht Dürer

born May 21, 1471, Imperial Free City of Nürnberg [Germany]
died April 6, 1528, Nürnberg


Profile
(2)

Painter and printmaker generally regarded as the greatest German Renaissance artist, his vast body of work includes altarpieces and religious works, numerous portraits and self-portraits, and copper engravings. His woodcuts, such as the Apocalypse series (1498), retain a more Gothic flavour than the rest of his work.

Dürer was the second son of the goldsmith Albrecht Dürer the Elder, who had left Hungary to settle in Nürnberg in 1455, and of Barbara Holper, who had been born there. Dürer began his training as a draughtsman in the goldsmith's workshop of his father. His precocious skill is evidenced by a remarkable self-portrait done in 1484, when he was 13 years old (Albertina, Vienna), and by a “Madonna with Musical Angels,” done in 1485, which is already a finished work of art in the late Gothic style. In 1486, Dürer's father arranged for his apprenticeship to the painter and woodcut illustrator Michael Wohlgemuth, whose portrait Dürer would paint in 1516. After three years in Wohlgemuth's workshop, he left for a period of travel. In 1490 Dürer completed his earliest known painting, a portrait of his father (Uffizi, Florence) that heralds the familiar characteristic style of the mature master.

Dürer's years as a journeyman probably took the young artist to the Netherlands, to Alsace, and to Basel, Switz., where he completed his first authenticated woodcut, a picture of “St. Jerome Curing the Lion” (Kunstmuseum, Basel). During 1493 or 1494 Dürer was in Strasbourg for a short time, returning again to Basel to design several book illustrations. An early masterpiece from this period is a self-portrait with a thistle painted on parchment in 1493 (Louvre, Paris).

His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Renaissance in Northern Europe ever since. His work reflected the apocalyptic spirit of his time, when famine, plague, and social and religious upheaval were common. He was sympathetic to the reform work of Martin Luther, who at Dürer's death wrote to a friend, "Affection bids us mourn for one who was the best."
 

Technical data (3)

Pond in the Woods
Watercolour and gouache on paper,
ca.1496
10.24 x 14.57 inches (26 x 37 cm)
British Museum, London

 

(1) This image is a courtesy of The Artchive.

(2) Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, Wikipedia.

(3) Source: The Athenaeum.


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