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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 spearheaded the Northern Renaissance from his base in Germany, producing influential artwork in the mediums of drawing, etching and painting. He was a profoundly gifted individual who also travelled frequently in order to learn from the old masters.

The Northern Renaissance would compete effectively with the old masters of the Italian Renaissance and contributed their own innovations and impressive technical ability. The likes of Albrecht Durer were ambitious and open-minded individuals who wanted to push the art world onwards rather than settling for continuing in the same vein of what had gone before within the Middle Ages. Albrecht Durer's wide ranging oeuvre marked him out as a notable oil painter and etcher, with his most famous works including The Little Owl, The Hare and Melencolia I. Durer enjoyed creating illustrations of animals and saw that as a way of adding a further aspect to the previous work that he had done. Hares and owls were the best known of these. There were also religious depictions as was the case for most artists during the European Renaissance periods.

Portrait of Barbara Durer Albrecht Durer
Portrait of Barbara Durer
Combined Coat of Arms of the Tucher and Rieter Families Albrecht Durer
Combined Coat of Arms of the Tucher and Rieter Families
Portrait of a Clergyman Albrecht Durer
Portrait of a Clergyman
Portrait of a Man Albrecht Durer
Portrait of a Man
Portrait of a Venetian Woman Albrecht Durer
Portrait of a Venetian Woman
St Jerome in his Study Albrecht Durer
St Jerome in his Study
St Anne with the Virgin and Child Albrecht Durer
St Anne with the Virgin and Child
Portrait of Elsbeth Tucher, nee Pusch Albrecht Durer
Portrait of Elsbeth Tucher, nee Pusch
Hans Tucher Albrecht Durer
Hans Tucher
Emperor Maximilian I (1519) Albrecht Durer
Emperor Maximilian I (1519)
Lot and his Daughters Albrecht Durer
Lot and his Daughters
Lamentation for Christ Albrecht Durer
Lamentation for Christ
Portrait of a Man with Beret and Scroll Albrecht Durer
Portrait of a Man with Beret and Scroll
The Madonna of the Carnation Albrecht Durer
The Madonna of the Carnation
Jabach Altarpiece Albrecht Durer
Jabach Altarpiece
The Apostles Philip and James Albrecht Durer
The Apostles Philip and James
Dresden Altarpiece Albrecht Durer
Dresden Altarpiece
Portrait of a Young Woman in a Red Beret Albrecht Durer
Portrait of a Young Woman in a Red Beret
Portrait of Bernhard von Reesen Albrecht Durer
Portrait of Bernhard von Reesen
Portrait of Burkard von Speyer Albrecht Durer
Portrait of Burkard von Speyer
The Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Albrecht Durer
The Seven Sorrows of the Virgin
The Suicide of Lucretia Albrecht Durer
The Suicide of Lucretia
Portrait of a Young Woman Albrecht Durer
Portrait of a Young Woman

You can see a full list of his works in this page, and there are also images of many of his etchings and paintings which are accompanied by links from where you can actually buy your own reproduction copies of the originals as framed giclee art prints, posters and more. Albrecht Durer paintings cover a variety of topics as the artist constantly strove to stretch his natural skills as far as possible, and never wished to settle on what he had already achieved. Albrecht Dürer left a huge impression on the art world which is still seen today, and his name is held up very high within the realms of German art history since the Middle Ages. Many see him as one of the best of all, with other notable German artists from all types of art movements including Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Otto Dix, Max Ernst, Franz Marc, Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert, Caspar David Friedrich, Max Liebermann and August Macke.

Albrecht Durer was an important influence in taking the Renaissance of Italy and transporting it across to Northern European countries such as the Netherlands and Germany. Dutch artists were later to produce the exceptional period termed the Dutch Golden Age but it was Durer who inspired other Germans into progressing their version of the Italian Renaissance which continued for several generations. Durer himself was able to play an influential role having studied in Italy himself as it was this that helped inspire much of his own work. Dürer's artistic creations have a considerable lot of the sharp elaborate attributes of Northern Renaissance craftsmanship yet they are additionally mixed by the characteristics of light and shading that he found in Venetian artistry. To start the work, Dürer daintily portrayed the picture and painted it under with a few washes of darker watercolour.

At that point, he calmly developed the surface of the hide with an assortment of dull and light brushstrokes in both watercolour and gouache (a misty watercolour). Continuously, the work of art is conveyed to fulfilment with the expansion of a couple of refined, subtle elements, for example, the stubbles and the fastidious impression of a window in the animal's eye. The extraordinary nature of Dürer's investigations of creatures and plants likewise raised the unassuming speciality of delineation to a subject deserving of proper consideration in artistic work. Dürer regularly marked his completed works with his unmistakable 'Promotion' monogram which was typically joined by a date. This spoke to both the initials of his name and the date heading 'In the year of the Lord' which is Latin for 'the time of our Lord.'

Rembrandt Bruegel Bosch Masaccio Raphael

The discoveries that Durer made during his spell in Italy encouraged other Germans to all make similar journeys themselves which led to an increased momentum for the Northern Renaissance and also helped the artist to forge even stronger links within the arts world that could help benefit his own career. During these periods most artists were always looking to get commissions where ever they could in order to cover their own basic finances. Melancholia I was the best known etching from Durer and features an elaborate array of symbolism which underlines the thought that went into each of the artist's works. There is more controversy around this etching than any other thing that Durer created in his whole career and many still discuss the meaning behind each of the objects found in this elaborate piece which is generally believed by most to simply signify the feeling of being melancholy.

Additionally to etchings and paintings, Durer was also enthusiastic about all of his pencil sketches which sometimes were themselves the final completed work, and other times simply served as a way to plan a painting which would then be added over the top afterwards. Durer was certainly skilled as an illustrator and this would provide an excellent basis for all the other mediums which he became involved in, with basic drawing techniques being fundamental to so much other art. Durer sketches are amongst the most popular of all his works, with some appreciating this art medium for the way it can show of an artist's raw skills and also can present different challenges to other methods like oil on canvas, for example.

The total collection of works available from Durer's career is huge and there are still large numbers of fans around the world who choose to buy reproductions of his original paintings, etchings and sketches to add to their own homes. The most frequently purchased reproductions of Durer originals are for Melancholia I, The Little Owl, The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, The Knight Death And The Devil, Praying Hands, Self Portrait and Wing of a Roller. In most cases framed giclee art prints offer the most accurate colour matching to the original, but some customers instead prefer posters, stretched canvases and even tapestries on some occasions.