Most Important Works of Art - Albrecht Dürer (1471 - 1528)

By ALEXANDRA A. JOPP


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Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471 - 1528 Nuremberg)
The Fall of Man (Adam and Eve)
Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471 - 1528 Nuremberg)
The Fall of Man (Adam and Eve) - See more at: http://www.oberlin.edu/amam/Durer_Fall.htm#sthash.XT6AaLoP.dpuf
Durer was an outstanding painter, draftsman and writer, but it was his printmaking that spread his fame. He was the first artist to establish his own printing business, on a par with his painter's workshop, and he revolutionized the techniques of woodcut printing and engraving.
He was fascinated by the idea of perfect human form. His style in painting highly symmetrical. Adam and Eve are depicted in a Garden of Eden. Adam holds a branch of the tree of life from which Eve broken a branch. The painting closely resembles Michelangelo’s’ David and Botticelli’s Venus. The artist uses Latin inscriptions and the main composition is circles triangles and squares. Very symmetrical in form, Durer was a master of composition.
Another Durer's masterwork is Melencolia I, 1514. 

Melencolia I is a 1514 engraving by the German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer.    



In this work, Durer used a burin (s fine steel tool) to etch his design onto a copper plate, achieving a significant degree of expressivity and detail of line, combined with an extraordinary depth of total range through detailed cross-hatching and tiny incisions that create a smooth transition of grey tones. The intricacy and drama of Durer's subject matter endowed the modest medium with a new authority. This engraving has become the quintessence of the Renaissance print, and its meaning has provoked much dispute. The winged figure in a meditative pose has been seen as a self-portrait of Durer in the grip of the first of the three types of melancholy, melancholia imaginativa. The magic square on the wall alludes to a possible motive for the artist’s melancholy – the death of his mother on 5 May 1514 – and various details refer to the four humorous, which since antiquity had been held responsible for a person’s individual disposition. At the time of the Renaissance, melancholy was associated with genius and creativity, and the engraving may be interpreted as a highly complex allegory of the struggles of the artist. 




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