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Durer was still in his twenty when he established himself as the leading artist in his native city of Nuremberg. His self-portrait, painted when he was 27, clearly conveys his self-confidence and pride in his abilities. His skill as a portraitist gained him numerous commissions from Nuremberg's leading citizens, but his visual curiosity led him to lavish as much attention on humble subjects such as A Hare as on more traditional and lucrative themes.
Durer's two visits to Italy profoundly affected his art. In such ambitious works The Adoration of the Magi and The Festival of the Rose Garlands he rivalled the great Italian painters in richness of colouring, and in The Four Apostles he matched the heroic arid monumental grandeur the High Renaissance.
It was on his prints even more than on his paintings that Durer's international reputation was based. Engravings such as The Knight, Death and the Devil and Melencolia I were regarded with a seriousness that had previously been denied this 'lowly' medium.
Durer was obviously appearance and painted several self-portraits. In this one he is elegantly dressed in th6eight of fashion. He sari himself as a cultured gentleman rather than as a humble artisan, which had been the traditional status of artists.
The Tuchers were one of the leading families of Nuremberg. There was probably originally companion portrait of Elsbeth's husband, showing him facing her, as Durer painted another married couple from the family in this format.
This marvellously naturalistic study is justifiably on' of Durer's most popular works. It is point in watercolour and gouache. Durer was a born craftsman and complete master of every technique to which he turned his hand.
Durer looked at the natural world with acute powers of observation. This watercolour is accurate down to the last detail, but it raises above mere botanical illustration. Durer did a similar but smaller watercolour, which is known as The Little Piece of Turf distinguishes it from this one.
This splendid altarpiece was commissioned by Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony. It was painted between Durer's two visits to Italy and shows a typical fusing of Italian and Northern elements. The precision of line and love of ornament are characteristically Northern, but the glowing light and various distinctive details show the influence of the South. In particular, the ruinous architectural setting with the prancing horse in the background recalls Leonardo da Vinci's famous treatment of the subject, which is now also in the Uffizi.
Durer painted this picture in Venice during his second trip to Italy. It is full of symbolic detail, but in essence it represents the idea of a universal brotherhood of Christianity. The picture was a great success and in its wake offered, but declined, a position as one of Venice`s official painters.
This altarpiece was commissioned by Mattheus Landauer, a rich Nuremberg Merchant, for a chapel dedicated to the Trinity and all saints. A host of figures, heavenly and earthly, adore the Trinity and in the bottom right-hand corner Durer has included a self-portrait.
These panels form Darer's last great masterpiece in painting memorably combining Northern precision of detail with Italian amplitude of form. St John and St Peter are shown on the left, St Paul and St Mark on the right. The panels may have originally been conceived as wings of a triptych, but Darer himself presented them to the city of Nuremberg as a pair.
Writer - Marshall Cavendish