Saturday, May 21, 2016

Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer, whose celestial maps were the first star charts ever printed, was born in 1471, What is beauty? Can beauty be defined? If you try and capture beauty are you corrupting it? Such questions were typical of the humanist spirit that influenced Albrecht Dürer, the greatest artist of the German Renaissance, who sought out a more exact and formulaic understanding of such sublime notion that could be transferred into his work.

He considered these questions closely and asked “What beauty is, I know not, though it adheres to many things…”  Regarded as the force behind the German Renaissance, Dürer revolutionized drawing in Northern Europe and altered ideas of beauty.  At the time empirical observation was becoming increasingly valued, and Durer was able to find beauty in the natural world around him.  Using his unrivaled talents as a draftsman, he placed drawing front and center by showing its value as an intimate connection between the artist’s hand and immediate world. (essay from a show at the Morgan).

The same year that Albrecht Dürer created his famous rhinoceros woodcut, the German artist also collaborated on the first star charts printed in Europe. The 1515 maps of constellations in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere combined the scientific knowledge of the stars with Dürer’s illustrations. Star Maps of 1515.  

 Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History 

1 comment:

Carla Ives said...

I love his work! He's one of those painters who seems to have fallen off the radar, but I think he is one of the best of his time.