Artworks and Artists
Albrecht Dürer
Born in Nuremberg, Germany, 21 May 1471
Died in Nuremberg, Germany, 26 April 1528
Photo Credit : Scala / Art Resource, NY

Albrecht Dürer

Born to a goldsmith on May 21, 1471 in Nuremberg Germany. After attending school to learn to read and write he was apprenticed to his father's goldsmith studio. At 15, following a developing skill and interest in painting, he began an apprenticeship in the studio of Michael Wolgemut, which produced paintings, prints and stained glass. Three years later Dürer became a journeyman, leaving Nuremberg to travel Europe working for different studio masters. Returning to his hometown in 1494, Dürer married Agnes Frey the daughter of a prosperous coppersmith.

Intrigued by artistic developments in Italy, Dürer traveled to Venice. His stay in this port city would have a profound impact on his colour pallet and compositional choices. In Venice he began to explore the secrets of perspective and to wed ideals of beauty, proportion and harmony to a northern European taste for realism and detail. Returning to Nuremberg he set up a successful studio, taking on apprentices and accepting many fine commissions for paintings and prints and a few for stained glass. The question of human proportion, sparked during his travels in Italy, persisted throughout his career and culminated in the publication of the Manual of Measurement and The Four Books on Human Proportion, published posthumously. Many of his engravings revealed his spiritual side (Durer was a practicing Christian who would become a strong supporter of Martin Luther and the Reformation); indeed many of his works can only be fully read through an understanding of their religious iconography. His writings extended beyond the arts with Various Instructions for the Fortification of Towns, Castles, and other localities. Dürer died on April 6, 1528 in Nuremberg, Germany.