Sunday, 21 May 2017

Happy Birthday Dürer

Albrecht Dürer was a painter, printmaker, and theorist of the German Renaissance. Born in Nuremberg on 21st May 1471, he was the third child and second son of his parents, who had at least fourteen and possibly as many as eighteen children. His father, Albrecht Dürer the Elder, was a successful goldsmith, who in 1455 had moved to Nuremberg from Ajtós, near Gyula in Hungary.

Dürer established his reputation and influence across Europe when he was still in his twenties due to his high-quality woodcut prints.   He died on 6 April 1528, also at Nuremberg, Germany.

Some Durer Quotes:-

Some think that they know everybody, but they really don't know themselves.
Albrecht Durer

Love and delight are better teachers than compulsion.
Albrecht Durer

What beauty is, I know not, though it adheres to many things.
Albrecht Durer

Dürer created large numbers of preparatory drawings, especially for his paintings and engravings, and many survive, most famously the Betende Hände (Praying Hands) from circa 1508, a study for an apostle in the Heller altarpiece. Dürer created the drawing using the technique of white heightening and black ink on (self-made) blue colored paper. The drawing shows a close up of two male hands clasped together praying. Also, the partly rolled up sleeves are seen.

(This copy of the drawing was given to me 
on my 21st birthday by my then girlfriend.)

The drawing was planned to occupy the central panel of the triptych installed in Frankfurt, which was later destroyed by a fire in 1729.  The drawing also once contained a sketch of the apostle's head, but the sheet with the head has been separated from it. Overall, Dürer made 18 sketches for the altarpiece. The image is thought probably to depict Dürer's own hands.


  1. Such a lovely piece! He is right about keeping occupied with art instead of being idle.

  2. Yes, I saw some of his work when I traveled in Europe.

  3. Dürer's self-portrait with the impressively long flowing waves of hair was one of the best-known pictures here in Germany for many years - it adorned our 10-Mark-note until the Euro was introduced.

  4. I, too, had a copy of the Praying Hands but it was obviously not from such a memorable source. Oddly I would have placed Dürer a century or so later. Odd.


Hello - thanks for dropping by to leave a comment. Your comments are much appreciated even if I don't always reply. They will appear as soon as they have been moderated.

Blog Archive