Albrecht Dürer: Germany's Quintessential Artist

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Albrecht Dürer, considered one of Germany’s quintessential artists, was an innovator born out of his time. Though mainly a draftsman, Dürer can be described as a virtuoso in numerous artistic disciplines: oil paint, art theory, engineering, and printmaking. His contributions to the High Northern Renaissance revolutionized the nature of German art and inspired the works of future artists. His talents began in the city of Nuremberg, or Nürnberg, during a period of upheaval, feuds, and political unrest. The Habsburg dynasty had no firm control over its subjects; independent cities, including Nürnberg, and feudal lands comprised the governing entities of the Holy Roman Empire. In the midst of this anarchy, Albrecht Dürer was born to Barbara Holper…show more content…
Throughout his learning experience in Nürnberg, Dürer worked for several significant patrons including Frederick the Wise of Saxony, and the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and Kaiser Charles V. When the latter became his last greatest patron, Dürer left for his last journey across the Netherlands, near the age of fifty, before settling permanently in his birth city to complete and publish his findings. Since his first travels in Italy, Dürer had been searching for a mathematical formula of geometry to render beautiful human proportions. He never truly did find the perfect mathematical explanation for art but instead published his findings in guides for artists such as Food for Young Painters, Art of Measurement, On Fortification, and Four Books on Human Proportions. He also completed “an introductory manual of geometric theory for students . . . which includes the first scientific treatment of perspective by a Northern European artist” (Wisee 1). Astonishingly, Dürer himself was not only the first to study Italian perspective – he was the first German artist to officially study art

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