This is my concluding part of my series of articles on Albrecht Durer. I will be considering further developments and attributes of Durer.
Norbert Wolf considers some of Durer’s intellectual strengths.
” Durer was interested in miraculous sensational signs all his life. he also sublimated the widespread eschatological mood in the era”. .
” Durer established his reputation at home and abroad not with paintings however but with copperplate engravings and editions of woodcuts”. .
Wolf shows how Durer’s driving ambition was to establish himself as the foremost Renaissance artist in Germany and the Low countries , that is why he painted so many self Portraits it is all about the Status of the artist.
” Durer drew and painted a whole series of self-portraits as well as including his own figure within a number of altar piece compositions”. .
” In 1510 the City Council commissioned Durer to produce a pair of panel paintings of Charlemagne (Holy Roman Emperor) and Emperor Sigismund” .
Wolf further comments on Durer’s excellent work.
” The Most beautiful works that Durer executed for Maximilian are the marginal drawings for the Emperor’s prayer book”. .
” Durer was a devout Christian . He was of course no saint. He grew up in a society permeated by Religion at every level”. .
Wolf explains the dominating role of Religion in the 15th and 16th Centuries.
” The Inflationary growth in the veneration of saints became symptomatic of an externalisation of faith. Saints became a fixture of everyday life , revered loved and also reviled”. .
” The powerful city of Nuremberg a centre of International trade, Industry and Banking and a focus of humanistic thought , domestic religiosity and patrician culture officially embraced the Lutheran Confession in 1525″. .
Wolf continues his commentary pointing out that Durer’s work is dominated by Portraits and Devotional images.
” In terms of volume Durer’s painted Oeuvres dominated by portrits and private devotional images”. .
” No great Renaissance artist could be at the Pinnacle of his profession without also having an understanding of artistic theory. this was the area that obsessed Durer like no other with the exception of Leonardo Da Vinci”. .
Durer wrote avidly about pure forms and exact proportions using Euclidean Geometric methods.
” Durer’s interest in ideal proportions extended after 1500 to almost every subject. He considered proportion to hold the universal key to form”. .
” Albrecht Durer’s treatise on Proportion was far in advance of the time in which he was living. In so far as Durer conceived of figures that could be produced in any type desired and could also be modified and moved as desired”. .
Paul Wood in the Changing Status of the artist points to Durer’s Intellectual attributes and of course his genius as a Humanist scholar.
” It seems then that the entire structure of the Melencholia engraving is steeped in the range of antecedent pictorial and intellectual traditions to that extent Melencholia represents not just an argument about a change in the status of artists but evidence of it”. .
” The concept of the artist was changing in Durer’s time. In particular these involved Painting becoming seen as one of the Humanist Liberal arts rather an artisanal craft”. .
Wood in his commentary shows how the status of the artist that Durer Championed was a Revolutionary development in artistic practices.
” The status of the artist did not of course change overnight but over a period change did take place. Durer became part of a circle of Humanist intellectuals. These Humanists became an influential part of the culture of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian 1st”. .
Wood now makes his final concluding remarks on the Importance Of Durer as an artist and a Humanist scholar.
” Not only does it challenge Medieval norms it also challenges subsequent ideas of the hierarchy of the fine Arts”..
” We have seen then how Durer’s work represents changes in the idea of the Artist”. .
This concludes my articles on Albrecht Durer the great Renaissance Scholar and artist from Germany.
- DURER TASCHEN BOOKS: NORBERT WOLF. PG.25
- THE CHANGING STATUS OF THE ARTIST: GENIUS AND MELANCHOLY. THE ART OF DURER. OPEN UNIVERSITY: PAUL WOOD.PG.163