Alliance Coat of Arms Albrecht Durer Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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This is a 1490 oil on panel painting by Albrecht Dürer, the master of the northern European Renaissance. It's a fascinating piece of work for fans of the master to study. This shows Dürer's skill as an oil painter for certain. It is definitely not typical of his work.

It is a joy to behold for those interested in the family history of this artist, as well as those who are keen to examine a piece of his work that's a little unusual, or rather that varies from his usual style. This painting depicts the alliance entered into by the Dürer and Holper families. The representation of the open barn door on the lower end of the painting symbolises the Dürer family. Their name 'Dürer' also means 'door'. Dürer obviously came from a family of substance if they had a coat of arms and entered into alliances with families of similar rank. He was obviously a well-educated man too. Dürer didn't haphazardly splash paint around. His work was measured and well thought out.

Much preparation went into everything Dürer created before the work was actually executed. Devotees of the artist who wish to view this particular work in front of their eyes will need to visit the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, where it is housed in a worthy collection. As it represents a coat of arms and doesn't contain any representation of people or surroundings, we can say that the painting is timeless in some ways. As we see, it gives the artist ample opportunities to display his painting skill, particularly his attention to the smaller, finer details. As the original painting was on a wall panel, we understand that it doesn't quite belong in a framed parchment. Yet we still encourage enthusiasts of the painter to study it, as it gives a sense of the greatness of this artist.

This painting remains one of Dürer's most atypical works. It is neither a religious work nor is it a representation of the times. We tend to learn a lot about life in 15th and 16th century Europe from the background details of this artist's work. Yet it shows the importance of rank in society and family tradition in its time, so perhaps there is some social history and knowledge to be gleaned from it, besides, of course, the joy of beholding the work of someone who was one of the foremost artists of their time.