Martagon Lillium 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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Martagon lillium is also known as martagon lily. The flower in this Durer's artwork bears dark green leaves and has a tall stem in which the dark green leaves appear to be dying towards the tip of the flower.

The purple turkscap lilies also appear to be losing life, which symbolises how human beings start flourishing as they are born and slowly start losing life till they meet their death. The great care and detail that Durer used in this artwork is seen as a detailed scientific illustration that influences one of nature's most beautiful flowers. Moreover, the painting is an accurate display of the harsh reality of life where living things grow, flourish and die at some point.

Martagon lillium are known to be excellent cut flowers as well as a summer-flowering bulb. However, in this martagon lilllium painting by Durer, the flower appears to be losing its life form. The painting displays an innate tension that Durer can create by providing a close contrast between the flower and its depiction: Martagon lillum are known to blossom well during the summer season and are naturally beautiful when taken good care of. In this painting, Durer captures the Martagon Lillium in its dying moments. There are dark green leaves at the bottom of the stem, which indicates that the Martagon Lillium is in its healthy lifeform, which is easily noticeable by the viewer. At the topmost part of the stem in the painting, Durer displays dying purple turkscap lillies.

Whether Durer sketched the dying martagon lillium in the wild or kept a dead martagon lillium in his studio is one question that is not solved yet. The background of the sketch appears to be a wall. This can be an indication that he did the drawing indoors. Adding holes on some of the leaves is a recurring technique of Durer's work and is a technical method whereby it creates vitality in the viewer's eye. It can also be taken as a statement of Durer's keen attention to details as it brings out the dying form of the martagon lillium.

In this martagon lillium painting, the artist displays the still life of the flower and he was able to use the Northern Renaissance style of art. He dew the painting in 1545 on a piece of paper using water colours and Durer used the Gouache technique. The current location of the painting is known to be in a private collection. In his numerous trips to Italy, he was widely exposed to works of other artists like Antonio Pollaiuolo, Lorenzo di Credi and Mantegna among others.