Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer was a highly acclaimed German painter who was born in 1471 and died 1528. He was from Nuremberg, Germany. Dürer's use of watercolors named him as one of the first landscape artists in Europe. He was thought to be one of the most influential patrons of the arts in the Northern Renaissance period. Most of the time Dürer got inspiration from the places he visited or people he met and it's evident in his most of his paintings. We see Netherlandish influence and from other Renaissance painters like Giovanni Bellini, a French painter. Dürer was an influential and inspiring renaissance painter who we still admire hundreds of years later.                                                                                                           Lindsey Stevens and Noah Singer

Hare c. 1502 In this painting by Albrecht Dürer, the painting is monochromatic but expresses marvelous complementing tones and great detail. The background is plain but has a texture to it which makes it much more interesting. The picture of the live hare, I assume has no further meaning. Dürer painting style is slightly inconsistent, but this looks like one of is more colorless, and more detailed pieces. This painting is referred to as one of the most important artworks in Dürer’s collection due to the amazing realistic aspects of this work. This work was painted in Dürer’s workshop, and if you look closely, you can see window's reflection in the eyes of the hare. I didn't pick up upon this at my initial glance. This painting is more of a medieval piece, just due to the lack of color and background; although it is precise and detailed, it would be under the medieval category.
Madonna and Child [obverse] c. 1496/1499 The first thing that is evident in this painting is the strong, bold colors. This is a painting that is frequently seen in this time period. This would be considered a religious painting. This painting isn’t as detailed and as precise as his other works. Even it is later than his more detailed paintings. The background and outside the window is cheerful and bright, which radiates the Renaissance style. Dürer was in Venice around 1494. When he was there, Dürer became friends with Giovanni Bellini, another Renaissance painter. Bellini had a lot of influence on Dürer, especially in this painting of Madonna and Child. You can see his influence in the sculptural modeling of the Madonna and Child, and the bright contrast of blue and red. The background is influenced by the Netherlandish works; this is consistent with Dürer’s interest in North regions appearance and beauty. This painting was likely intended for private use. In the left lower corner, you can see a coat-of-arms recognizing the patron as a member of Nuremberg mercantile family of Haller von Hallerstein.
Lot and His Daughters [reverse] c. 1496/1499 The setting of this painting is different, and the colors are bright. The painting looks like it's set in a forest. In the middle of the painting there is a massive fire with a cloud of smoke hovering above. There are three people in the painting, and they’re wearing bright colors and carrying handfuls of belongings in their hands. One lady is even carrying a large sack on her head. They seem like they’re fleeing. The meaning behind this painting seems to be that they're fleeing their invaded hometown. My guess is by an opposing town that wanted to use the military tactic chevauchée to achieve their goals. If you look to the left, there is an awkward gray cylinder shape. This painting is a renaissance painting, due to the lack of religion, the detailed background, and bright colors in the painting. Albrecht Dürer was a creative artist, and this painting was actually on the reverse side of Madonna and Child. This painting is based off chapter nineteen in the Book of Genesis; the story of Lot and his two daughters. Lot and his two daughters are seen fleeing like I had predicted. They were fleeing from Sodam and Gomorrrah, and those are explosions in the background. That cylinder gray figure in the top left is Lot’s wife. She was turned into a pillar of salt “for disobeying the divine command by looking back on the scene of retribution.”(parenthetical) In other words, she was turned to stone for not obeying when she was told not to look back on the scene that had just occurred. The story of Lot and his two daughters has a deeper meaning that demonstrates the power of God to save people who were moral and obeyed his ‘laws.’ The direct correlation of this painting and Madonna and Child is unclear.
Adoration of the Trinity (Landauer Altar) c.1511 The colors of this painting are rich, and again we see that contrast of royal blue and red. Which, is thought to be influenced by French Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini. This painting is set in heaven; there is no doubt in my mind because Dürer makes this very clear. It seems to be an artist’s rendition of God’s sacrifice of Jesus. The faces and expressions of the painting have the same tone. The tones the people express are angst, and they seem distressed. Dürer signs the bottom with not only his name but a self-portrait of himself. This is definitely a renaissance painting due to the bright colors and colored background. A lot of thought and planning went into this painting. As you can see, there are five sections in this painting. Each section has an importance. Virgin Mary leads the women on the top left of this painting. These women include St. Barbara, who is yielding a chalice, St. Catherine of Alexandria, who is pictured holding a wheel, and is also one of the most well-known saints of all time. Also, St. Agnes is pictured who awkwardly handles a lamb in the painting. On the top right division of the painting you can see John the Baptist and behind him you see a group of prophets and kings who are spoken about in the old testament of the bible. These include David and Moses. The group on the bottom represents the entire Christian community.
Virgin and child with a pear c.1512 Albrecht Dürer has a recurring theme of child and mother in his paintings. This painting also shows the same blue we see in most of his other works. The strange thing about this painting is he almost always has an elaborate background. This painting does not, making it more of a transitional piece from medieval to renaissance. Because, even though the background is plain back, child and mother are very detailed and proportional. From the gentle way the woman is holding baby Jesus to the symbolism of the pear, we see signs of this fragility and genuine care. Baby Jesus rests on a lilac colored blanket held by his mother. The Madonna believes he is a jewel and treats baby Jesus with tender care. The pear resembles a symbol of virginity and the innocence that comes with it. The Madonna’s simple smile comes from the Netherlands. Even the sudden contortion of baby Jesus’s body derives from early Italian Renaissance art.
Jakob Muffel c.1526 This painting is monochromatic and lacks an intriguing background. The man in the painting, I assume his name is Jakob Muffel, seems stern, and his face has a lot of details. It’s unclear to me who this person is and why this painting was made. By the looks of it, I don’t think Jakob Muffel is poor or a servant, because possibly Dürer was paid to make this portrait. The man's outfit is surprisingly very modern looking and seems like an outfit I could see being worn casually today. This painting reminds me of another transitional piece. It’s too detailed and well proportioned to be medieval, but then again we lack a background. It shows traits of both painting styles. Jakob Muffel was a highly recognized, in Nuremburg and was a friend of Dürer. He was a long-time councilor, was once mayor, and was the city’s septremvirs. “A septemvir was one of seven men appointed to execute a commission. Seven-man commissions were appointed to serve both secular and religious purposes.”(parenthetical) This portrait wasn’t made to advertise Jakob Muffel in any way but paint a truly realistic, naturalistic piece of art. Dürer wanted to express his talent with intricate detail.
Jesus among the Doctors c. 1506 Like much of Albrecht Dürer’s other paintings we see that blue-red contrast, but only this time it’s comprised of duller shades of the two contrasting colors. This title of this painting seems straight forward, but when I glance at this painting it seems ambiguous. I would like to think the focal point and person in the middle of the painting is Jesus but in this painting, “Jesus’s” features seem too feminine. Upon first glance, I mistook this person as a woman. Maybe Dürer gave Jesus a feminine face to symbolize the innocence and fragility Jesus displays. The Doctors or the other people in this painting seem like they’re asking Jesus for answers. I’m sure something along the lines of “what could remedy sickness’s x, y and z,” and just asking Jesus to spare those who were sick. This painting conveys a Renaissance derivation, due to the bright colors and well-produced dimensions. This painting is an artist’s rendition of the very first time Christ taught, according to stories. This painting tells the tale of Christ’s visit to Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem and he’s debating with eight Jewish doctors. My confusion of Jesus in this painting was accurate because Jesus is just at the immature age of twelve in this painting.
Adoration of the Magi c.1504 This painting is very consistent with Dürer’s love of the contrast of blue and red, only this time it’s the brightest of all the pieces we have seen today. This painting is undoubtedly a renaissance piece. This is due to the heavily detailed background and bright colors expressed in this painting. This painting looks like it's telling the story of the three kings that followed the North Star to baby Jesus. In the back right it looks like there is commotion going on, I think that way because one of the horses is standing on two feet. It is unclear to me why there is uproar occurring. This painting is beautifully detailed, and for the most part very consistent in proportions. However, I did notice in the bottom right corner there is a huge beetle that is the same size as one of the men’s feet. Frederick the Wise of Saxony, ordered this painting from Dürer for the church in the castle. This is another example of a Giovanni Bellini inspired painting. My prediction was correct, and this is the Madonna and baby Jesus. The altercation in the background remains unclear still. Dürer had a love of animals and plants and studied both topics religiously. The insect I pointed out in the foreground is a “flying deer” insect, and it symbolizes Christ. According to (spirit walk industry) a flying deer can also be construed as being, ”the journey, not the destinations that are important here.” The plantago major plant directly behind the "flying deer" is supposed to symbolize the blood of Christ. This plant was once known for its healing powers. The small coleopteran or beetle pictured on the left surrounded by butterflies represents reincarnation and is the ancient symbol of our souls.
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