Landscape with a Woodland Pool

Albrecht Dürer1497

British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

It is generally agreed that this landscape drawing is one of the most sensitive of Dürer's portrayals of nature. It is painted with a brush in water and bodycolour. Dürer was the first artist to recognize the expressive potential of watercolour. Indeed, his work as a landscape artist in the medium led to its adoption by other artists.

On the left we see the broken trunks of pine trees rising on a grassy bank. To the right are more pine trees, their deep green tops filling the paper. In between is deep blue water which disappears into the darkening distant horizon. As the sun sets, the clouds turn a deep blue which is mirrored in the blue of the lake. Similarly, the green branches of the pine trees are balanced by the green banks around the water. Dürer's fluid brush and deep colours make it a very beautiful and harmonious depiction of restful nature.

The scene may be outside Nuremberg and was probably painted after Dürer had returned from his first visit to Italy, around 1496-97.

The drawing is unfinished at lower right where the white of the paper is clearly visible. Dürer's monogram in the upper centre was added later in another hand.


  • Title: Landscape with a Woodland Pool
  • Creator: Albrecht Dürer
  • Date Created: 1497
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 262.00mm; Width: 365.00mm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Medium: Drawn
  • Technique: drawn
  • Registration number: SL,5218.167
  • Producer: Drawn by Albrecht Dürer
  • Material: paper
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Bequeathed by Sloane, Hans. Previous owner/ex-collection Silfvercrona, Pieter Spiering

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