Hare (1528) 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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Albrecht Durer was a graphic artist and a German painter. He is said to have introduced the Italian Renaissance into European art. In his art, Albrecht diffused his style by merging the Italian ideal of beauty with the German realistic tradition.

During this time, the Italian artists were inventing a proportion and perspective to govern their representations of man. On the other hand, the Germans were perfecting their depiction and observation of human natural phenomena without the correct perspective of space which had the multiplicity of detail. Albrecht was therefore the first non-Italian artist to merge all humanistic disciplines with all the aesthetics of artistic pursuits. A Young Hare was a masterpiece by Durer. It is amongst the first nature studies to have a painting in its own right. Albrecht painted the animal in a hyperrealist manner. He made the Hare look like a photograph. He achieved this by using watercolour. This made the painting to be nicknamed The Wild Hare or The Field Hare. That’s because it exemplified the Northern Renaissance's detailed realism.

Albrecht learned painting from Michael Wolgemut, a Nuremberg artist who taught him illustration and drawing. More so, Albrecht was also famous for his engraving and woodcuts. He also had innovative self-portraits and was fascinated by animals, plants, and landscapes. In the 1490s, Albrecht was able to learn watercolour painting and master it to produce one of his best works, Pond in the Woods. His animal masterwork was A Young Hare. However, it's unknown whether Albrecht sketched the animal in the wild and completed it indoors or copied it from his studio. Some art critics claim to see a window frame reflection in the hare’s eyes. However, this type of reflection was used to add some vitality to the subjects.

It’s also believed that Albrecht used a stuffed hare to paint from after making some sketches in the wild. However, his scientific detail was impressive and his affinity for the use of light and texture brought the hare to life. In his painting, Albrecht managed to pick out the tip of the hairs across the body and highlight the ears. More so, he imbued the hare with warm golden light to give the eye some life. Albrecht was born on May 21, 1471. He was born in Nuremberg and his father; Albrecht was a Hungarian goldsmith who had moved to Nuremberg in 1455. Young Albrecht began his training as an engraver in his father’s workshop. That’s when he was able to execute his first self-portrait, at the age of 13.