Albrecht Dürer

[Albrecht Durer] Painter and engraver, born Nuremberg, Germany, 1471; died there, 1528. The son of a goldsmith, he was apprenticed for three years to the artist, Michael Wohlgemut. He worked mainly in his own city, a center of German art, but visited Venice twice, in 1494 and again 1505-1507, and the Netherlands in 1520-1521. He enjoyed the patronage of Maximilian I from 1512-1519. Distinctly German and individual in his art, he is considered to rank close to Michelangelo as a master, especially in drawing. Of his religious paintings the best known are the "Adoration of the Christ Child" in the Old Pinakothek, Munich, "The Adoration of the Magi" in the Uffizi, and his masterpiece, "The Four Apostles," painted in 1526 as a gift to the city of Nuremberg, but now in Munich. His portraits include two of himself as a young man, one in the Prado, in Madrid, and one in the Old Pinakothek; two portraits of his father, in the Uffizi and in the National Gallery; and the "Portrait of Hieronymus Holzschuher" in the Berlin Gallery. His wood-engravings include the 15 cuts illustrating the Apocalypse, begun in 1498, and the three series known as the "Great Passion," the "Little Passion," and the "Life of the Virgin." Of his copper-plate engravings the best known are the "Melancholia," "The Knight with Death and the Devil," "Adam and Eve," and "Saint Jerome in His Study."

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