Albrecht Durer

By: Keelee Cox

"Nature holds the beautiful, for the artist who has the insight to extract it. Thus, beauty lies even in humble, perhaps ugly things, and the ideal, which bypasses or improves on nature, may not be truly beautiful in the end."

Background Information

Albrecht Durer was born in Nuremberg, Germany on May 21st, 1471 and died on April 6th, 1528 at the age of fifty-seven. He's known for his extremely detailed, realistic paintings, engravings, and wood carvings of animals during the Northern High Renaissance. During this time period, animals were not viewed as worthy subjects, but Durer was one of the first to believe they were.

Northern High Renaissance

Durer was actually the one of the main people who helped spread the High Renaissance from Germany to Italy. He understood both of the Renaissances and was able to convey concepts to both countries. The Northern Renaissance didn't last long, but is known for it's advanced realistic oil paintings, portraits, woodcuts, and other forms of printmaking.

Similar Artists

During this time period, artists such as Stephan Lochner, Matthias Grunewald, and Lucas Cranach the Elder were popular. Lochner was known for his religious oil paintings and "gem-like colors". Very few of Grunewald's painting have survived, and several had been attributed to Durer, but those left today are known for their individualistic color and harsh religious themes. Lucas Cranach the Elder was known for his style of combining landscape and narrative scenes to form a romantic whole.

Famous Art Pieces

Art Critique

Subject Matter: Bird's wing

Genre: Animal Portrait

Style/Form: Realistic

Description: Used natural colors to keep the painting as real as possible, with lots of line and texture to give the look of real feathers.

Formal Properties: Strong use of line for details and texture.

Interpretation: Durer chose one small part of an animal that may have seemed insignificant and focused on every little detail in order to show it's importance and beauty.

Feeling: This artwork makes me happy, I like that he focused on one part of an animal instead of the whole.

Favorite: My favorite part of the piece is just every tiny detail he added.

Judgement: Art as realism.

Works Sited

"Albrecht Durer - The Complete Works." Albrecht Durer - The Complete Works. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. <>.

"Albrecht Dürer - Animal Drawings, Paintings and Prints." Albrecht Dürer. Web. 15 Apr. 2015. <>.

Esaak, Shelley. "Art History 101 - The High Northern Renaissance." Web. 24 Apr. 2015. <>.

"Northern Renaissance (c.1430-1580)." Northern Renaissance Art: History, Characteristics. Web. 24 Apr. 2015. <>.