The Tuft of Grass (Minor) 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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The Tuft of Grass Minor is an oil painting by Albrecht Dürer, completed in 1514. If you examine the painting, you will see that it represents a tuft of grass that has been pulled from the earth. Yet there are considerably more plants seen than just grass.

Entwined in the tuft of grass are daisies and clover, the tiny weeds that make up the charming wildlife of the open fields. In fact, the whole effect is somewhat chaotic as there is an abundance of plant life competing for space here. This is a work of considerable skill and talent. The various natural shades of green are seen, as well as earthy hues and the charming simplicity of the daisies, not to mention the muted colours of other wild-growing plants, all caught up in that tuft of grass. Interestingly, to the modern eye, this painting would seem to be similar to a photograph. Keeping in view the fact that photography didn't exist in Dürer's time, this would appear to be a particularly lifelike piece and would have been highly appreciated by anyone who viewed it.

There is no scriptural reference, of course, unlike Dürer's usual pieces. There is nothing to tie it to the 16th century either, again unlike Dürer's usual pieces. Should you wish to catch a glimpse of this timeless work in real life, you need to visit the magnificent Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria's capital city. This painting certainly deserves its place in one of the world's foremost collections. As a representation of a slice of nature, it is simply timeless. It's a piece of still life, yet a piece of life full of activity and spontaneity. It's not surprising that oil painting reproductions of this work are in high demand. This is a work of art that displays Dürer's prowess as a painter like very few other works of his does. He's so well known as an artist who brought to life divine images through woodcuts, that his painting skills often go unnoticed.

Dürer was a talented and highly accomplished Renaissance artist, who was one of the greatest artists of the period outside Italy. He was skilled in creating works of art in different media. He could execute pen drawings and woodcuts, as well as watercolour and oil paintings. While he's known for his scriptural works, he also completed works that were without any scriptural connection at all.