Teachers Lesson Plans

An introduction to the prints of Albrecht Dürer


c. 1450: Invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany.


May 21: Albrecht Dürer is born in Nuremberg, son of goldsmith Albrecht Dürer the Elder and Barbara Holper, the daughter of the goldsmith for whom he worked.


Dürer is apprenticed to Michael Wolgemut, who headed a studio that produced woodcut illustrations in addition to paintings and stained glass designs.


Dürer spends his journeyman years travelling to cities in the upper Rhine, including Colmar and Basel.


Marries Agnes Frey, daughter of a master craftsman in brass and hammered copper, as well as the building manager of Nuremberg City Hall.


Dürer visits Venice for the first time, where he is introduced to the classical ideals of the Italian Renaissance.


The artist publishes at his own expense a book of woodcuts, The Apocalypse, illustrating "The Revelation of St. John the Divine", the last book of the New Testament.


Second stay in Venice where he will paint The Feast of the Rose Garland (Prague, Narodni Galerie) for local German Merchants and discover that the Italian engraver, Marcantonio Raimondi, is making copies of his work which were being sold as originals.


Published three books of woodcuts Small Passion, Large Passion and Life of the Virgin and reissued The Apocalypse.


Awarded an annual pension of 100 Rhenish guilders by the Emperor Maximilian I.


Journey to the Netherlands with his wife, Agnes.


Dürer wrote a formal history of his family assembled from detailed notes kept by his father.


Published a "Painter's Manual", intended to teach measurement to artists, this would be followed by a treatise on the Fortification of Towns, Castles and Places (1527) and the Four Books on Human Proportion, published posthumously in 1528.


April 6, died at Nuremberg. The humanist scholar Erasmus wrote that Dürer was the "Apelles of black lines", equating the artist to the celebrated painter of Ancient Greece.