Albrecht Dürer (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Dürer has often been called the “Leonardo of the North” because of his diverse talents. Painter, graphic artist, and theorist, he moved in elite intellectual circles that included some of the most famous men of his time. As a graphic artist, Dürer has never been surpassed. He helped bring Italian Renaissance ideas to the art of northern Europe.
Albrecht Dürer was born in Nuremberg at a time when that city was moving from its Gothic past to a more progressive style of Renaissance Humanism, exemplified by Vienna and Basel in northern Europe. His father, a goldsmith, had come from Hungary to Nuremberg, where he met and married Dürer’s mother. The third of eighteen children, Dürer showed unusual artistic inclinations at an early age. After working with his father during his younger years, Dürer, at age fifteen, was apprenticed to Michel Wohlgemuth, head of a large local workshop that produced woodcuts for printers as well as painted altarpieces.
It was the custom for apprentices to complete their training period with a Wanderjahre or wandering journey, in order to seek new ideas from outside sources before submitting their own Meisterstück or masterpiece, to the guild so as to obtain a license as an artist within the city. Dürer, after completing three years with Wohlgemuth and becoming familiar with both painting and graphic technique, began his own...
(The entire section is 2420 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!