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BIOGRAPHY

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lbrecht Durer (1471-1528), painter and printmaker, was one of the leading painters in German Renaissance and one of the greatest artists in the world of the art history. He was born on May 21,1471 in Nuremberg, South Germany. He was a son of the successful goldsmith Albrecht Durer the Elder and Barbara Holper. The early training of the young Durer was in the field of drawings and woodcuts, which have remained the main priorities in his future art career. From 1486 till 1489 he was an apprentice in the workshop of the Nuremberg painter Michael Wohlgemut.

Durer traveled a lot. In 1490 he had left his own town for four years. He visited Koln, Strasbourg and Netherlands and than, between 1494-95 and 1505-07, he visited Venice, Bologna and perhaps Florence and Rome. His fame of incredible engraver went across Europe and the painters of Italy have been influenced by his ideas. In Venice he met the old painter Giovanni Bellini and he delighted him. In 1495 he returned to Nuremberg, where he established his own studio.

One of the best-known series of Durer is ”Apocalypse”, contains 18 woodcuts. The most famous among them is "The four horseman of the Apocalypse (1498)". One of his admirers – Kurfursten Friedrich the III, otherwise had known as Friedrich the Wise, whose portrait Durer painted in 1496, valuing the gift of the artist, ordered a several altar paintings, for the new-build at that time Wittenberg Castle - “The Jabach Altarpiece”(1503-1504), “The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand.”(1508), “The Adoration of the Kings “(1504). The last is considered as one of the Durer’s masterpieces. 

Impressed by the work of the artist, wealthy Nuremberg’s citizens ordered him series of paintings on religious subjects – “ Lot fleeing with his daughters from Sodom”(1498), “Paumgarten Altarpiece”, “Lamentations over the dead Christ”(1500-1503), “The Adoration of the Holy Trinity”(1511). Besides his work devoted on religious subjects, Durer was famous by the portraits ordered often to him. Among the best of them are: “ Portrait of Durer’s Father at 70”(1497), “ Portrait of Oswolt Krel”(1499), ” Portrait of Bernhard von Reesen”(1521),  ”Portrait of Hieronymus Holzschuher”(1526), “ Self-portrait at 22”(1493), “ Self-portrait at 26”(1498), “Self-portrait at 28”(1500).  

Durer painted watercolors paintings (landscape paintings and sketches). The best-known among them are: ”House by the Pond”(1496), “The Willow Mill”(1496-1498), "Young Hare", “The Turf”(1503).

The best achievements of Durer as an engraver are three engravings done between (1513-1514), considered as his masterpieces: “The Knight, Death and the Devil”(1513), ”St. Jerome”(1514) and “Melencolia I”(1514). After he completed the work on the engravings, Durer worked for Emperor Maxmillian I, who ordered him a project for a huge printed work of "The Triumphal Arch" dedicated to the achievements of the Emperor. The length of this monumental project, made on 192 wooden blocks, was 330-cm. It was the biggest wood engraving ever printed.   

Durer became one of the first enthusiastic followers of Martin Luther. His new faith can be sensed in the strong of the stile and the objects of his religious works after 1520. The culmination during that period is the make of ”The Four Holy Man”(1526). As restless intellectual searchers, Durer and Leonardo da Vinci had much in common.

Durer wrote and published: "Treatise on the Mesuration”(1525), "Instruction on the Fortification of Cities, Castles and Towns”(1527), and his fundamental work - ”Treatise on Human Proportions"(1528) published in October 1528, six months after his death. Durer died on April 6,1528 in Nuremberg.

Durer was the most universal, well-balanced and greatest painter of Germany for all times!


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