How Dürer’s Travels Reveal His Voracious Appetite for Art

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Albrecht Durer, “St. Jerome” (1521), oil on oak, 60 x 48 cm. Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon (© Instituto Portugues de Museus, Minstero da Cultura, Lisbon)

London — The recent ferocious with him, despite the fact that Albrecht Dürer, a very talented and cheeky son of a Hungarian goldsmith from Nuremberg, died in 1528 at the age of 56. The encounter actually happened in spring. last year’s.

miracle? Something more violent. The editor asked me for a book review. Someone who was a former BBC man disappointed her. Would you like to step up to the plate? I would. I would. It was a book about Durer written by a writer who recently won the grand prize for his non-fiction work. I jumped into.

I came trembling. I didn’t like the book very much. The breathtaking, long-headed turmoil annoyed me. It seemed to be trying to make Durer’s own personality and temperament an ape, but it was too clever and half self-healing. Moreover, in my opinion, the physical object itself is a miserable bookmaking, and the image is pushed firmly into the final page as if it were a retrofit at best, too small for my own benefit. This book was already printed with a gray border … I told the editor all this. My review revealed to her that it was not a hymn of praise. She suggested that I end up not writing about it. fine.

Albrecht Durer, “Woman in Brussels” (1520), pen and brown ink, 16 x 10.5 cm. Albertina Museum, Vienna (3161) (© Albertina, Vienna)

And now I Durer’s Journey: Renaissance Artist’s Journey At the National Gallery, and staring at a map of his trip to Europe, I’m a man’s noisy, his impatience, if not his urge, his impatience, seeing, learning, and his rather unattractive level. I read about self-assurance, his strong personality, his irritability, the fact that he swelled with self-praise …

Yes, Durer couldn’t stop. He swallowed everything. The Nuremberg boy had to surpass everyone who went before him. He constantly sought, restlessly, absorbed the art of woodblock prints, the art of sculptors. He scrutinized the fine line drawings of the illuminated manuscripts. He studied how the rock was formed. He looked into the quarry and painted what he saw. He learned from Vitruvius a lesson on how to think of a perfectly formed and perfectly balanced “well-shaped man”.

But that wasn’t enough.The chunky baby no Fully formed or perfectly balanced. To idealize or standardize was to lie. You will notice that this show contains various images of the baby. All of this isn’t fun to make physically while beating real baby plump meat.

Albrecht Durer, “Spair’s Burghard” (1506), oil on panel, 31.7 x 26 cm. Loan from Her Majesty (Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020)
Albrecht Durer, “Head of Jesus at the age of 12” (Study of “Christ among the Doctors”) (1506), Brush and gray ink, highlighted in white, blue paper, 27.5 x 21.1 cm. Albertina Museum, Vienna (3106) (© Albertina, Vienna)

Durer was a great traveler. He went to Colmar, Basel, Strasbourg, Venice, The Netherlands and was always looking for art and artists. He learned from them — and others learned from him. He met the elderly Giovanni Bellini in Venice and lived from 1505 to 1507. Despite Venice’s old age, Durer determined him to be the greatest artist of the time. While in Venice, he also paid particular attention to the art of portraiture. A method of almost engraving in two dimensions. How to trim firmly, head and shoulders only. One of the best examples of such works is the great head of Bellini’s “Governor Leonardo” (1501), depicted as if it were a bust of a Roman portrait. This painting was made a few years before Durer arrived in Venice, so he may have seen it. It is on permanent display elsewhere in this building. (What else did he learn in Venice? The virtue of drawing on blue paper.)

He created an extraordinary print cycle, taking a fantastic flight from the biblical story, the life of a saint. These are one of his best works and the best in this show. These densely iconic prints of him are emotionally and intellectually inexhaustible, with the subject matter being so small that it is intense, and the details strangely surprisingly grumpy. And they are written by so many — it’s also quite legitimate. Who is tired of the image of “Melancolia I” (1514), or who fully understands its depth? Why is it so depressing? Or, as stated in the Apocalypse, his thundering horseman in the Apocalypse, a series of 15 woodblock prints he published at his own expense, roughly based on the wild and often horrifying vision of St. John of Patmos. I couldn’t get excited about it. The last book of the Bible? It’s just — just! — Monochrome? Who has shown very well how to open the background, or have given such a perfect lesson of shortening (with the exception of Mantegna)? That was the impulsive fertility of his imagination.

Albrecht Durer, “Lion” (1494), Gouache on parchment, raised with gold, 12.6 x 17.2 cm. Kupferstichkabinett, Hamburger Kunsthalle (23005) (© Photo Scala, Florence / bpk, Bildagentur für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte, Berlin / Photo: Christoph Irrgang)

Durer was also anxious to be a painter comparable to their best painter. Unfortunately, the difficulty of painting-and the desire to be a great painter to prove that he is as much a master of color as black and white-is that the oil dries very slowly. Durer has always wanted to move, for example, being somewhere else, such as a zoo. He wanted things to happen very quickly, at least at the speed of his own Quiksilver mind.

And this show tells us a lot about Durer’s mind. Among its more accidental joys is a sample from a record of what Durer himself thought and felt — a fragment from his diary, his diary, and his letter. Or Martin Luther, a similarly smart and confident modern man, written by Durer’s own very good hand in the 1520 thick leather book in the British Museum. A list of texts owned by. It’s at this moment that Durer feels breathtakingly close to all of his quarreling, headaches and intellectual greed.

Albrecht Durer, “Two Livonian Females” (1521), Pen and Brown Ink, Watercolor, 18.4 x 19.5 cm. Louvre Museum, Paris (20DR) (© RMN-Grand Palais (Louvre Museum) / Thierry Le Mage)
Albrecht Durer, “Madonna and the Child” (about 1496–99), oil on panel, 52.4 x 42.2 cm. National Museum, Washington DC, Samuel H. Cress Collection, 1952.2.16.a (Board of Directors, National Museum, Washington DC)

Durer’s Journey: Renaissance Artist’s Journey It will continue until February 27, 2022 at the National Gallery (Trafalgar Square, London, England). The exhibition was curated by Susan Foister, Deputy Director and Collection Director of the National Gallery.

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