Albrecht Dürer - vendere e comprare opere

21 May 1471, Nuremberg (Germany) - 6 April 1528, Nuremberg (Germany)

The Frankish artist Albrecht Dürer is one of the most famous painters of the Renaissance. A true ‘Renaissance man’, his oeuvre includes paintings, etchings and woodcuts as well as studies of mathematics and theoretical writings on art. He signed his works with the monogram AD, an expression of his artistic self-awareness.

Albrecht Dürer was the third of 18 children, only three of whom survived childhood. His father, a goldsmith, took the young Dürer into his workshop from an early age. Albrecht Dürer spent the years 1490 to 1494 on his journeyman’s travels, as was typical of the time, probably to the Upper Rhine. It is certain that he worked in the Netherlands, the Elsace and in Basel. After returning to Nuremberg, he worked with the painter Michael Wolgemut, and is believed to have contributed to the designs for the Nuremberg Chronicle. The woodcuts accompanying Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools were executed during to a visit to Basel. He married Agnes Frey (1475-1539), the daughter of family friends, in 1494. Shortly after their wedding, the young couple travelled through Italy, with records showing that Albrecht Dürer visited Innsbruck, Trento, and Arco on Lake Garda, where paintings by Andrea Mantegna left an enduring impression on the artist. The early Italian Renaissance inspired Dürer to paint numerous landscapes.

In 1497 he opened his own studio in Nuremberg, with employees including Hans Schäufelein, Hans von Kulmbach and Hans Baldung Grien. It was here that he painted portraits of his father, merchants and, in 1498, his famous self-portrait, which now hangs in the Prado in Madrid. His oeuvre was largely dominated by woodcuts and copper etchings, such as Young Hare from 1502. This established his reputation and set the standards for other etchers. He spent the period from 1505 to 1507 in Venice, where he met Titian, Giorgione and Giovanni Bellini. Commissioned by the German merchants, he painted Our Lady of the Rosary, which Rudolf II later acquired for Prague.

He returned to Nuremberg in 1507 where he worked until 1514, the period in which the famous dry-point etchings of the Great Passion series, Knight, Death and the Devil, and Melencolia, were executed. Many of his commissions were intended to celebrate the fame and glory of his major patron, Emperor Maximilian I.

His travels in the Netherlands during 1520 and 1521 were an important influence on his artistic work, turning into a triumphal procession for this now famous artist. Here, Albrecht Dürer met scholars, artists, princes and scientists. Once back in Nuremberg, Dürer spent the last years of his creative life with studies of proportion, geometry and mathematics. One of his most important works from this late period is the Four Apostles, which is now held by the Pinakothek in Munich. His woodcuts, etchings and paintings are prized by all major international museums around the world.