Europe

On the trail of Albrecht Dürer, Renaissance painter

Albrecht Dürer is the most recognized painter of the German Renaissance.. He was a tireless traveler and painter. His friend Erasmus of Rotterdam said of him: “In truth, he manages to represent what cannot be represented: rays of light, thunder, lightning… all sensations and emotions: in short, the complete human spirit, as reflected in the movements of the body, and almost to the voice.

Brushstrokes of the biography of Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer was born in Nuremberg on May 21, 1471. He soon showed an interest in art and his father, a goldsmith by profession, managed to get him to enter Michael Wolgemut’s workshop as an apprentice. In this workshop, dedicated above all to xylography, participated in the elaboration of many of the engravings that served to illustrate the Nuremberg Chronicle.

Married to Agnes Frey, He traveled throughout his life through Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland looking for inspiration and new jobs. Thanks to the relatives of his wife, Albrecht Dürer was able to access the upper classes of the city and be one of the most sought-after artists of the time.

Nuremberg, his hometown and home of his workshop

This city in the German state of Bavaria saw him born, also as an artist, and develop as such. There he opened his workshop in 1509, in a four-story house that, in addition, would serve as a home. Today it is home to the Albrecht-Dürer-Haus museum.

In this beautiful medieval city you can also visit the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, which is one of the most important Albrecht Dürer research centers in the world. And his grave can be found in the beautiful Johannisfriedhof cemetery in Nuremberg.

Looking for your first great professional experience

Like all young artists of his time, Dürer undertakes a study trip that takes him to the city of Colmar. This city in French Alsace was very important during the Renaissance. There he intended to go to work in the workshop of the German painter and engraver Martin Schongauer, but he had already died.

Looking for a new professional destination, Dürer traveled to Basel and Strasbourg, a French city in the Alsace region where he lived during 1493. Several of his portraits are from this period. and, above all, illustrations for the work of Sebastian Brant, Das Narranschiff either Crazy people’s nave.

Italy, the favorite destination of Albrecht Dürer

After his marriage to Agnes, Dürer again undertook a journey of almost a year. In this case to Italy. There he soaked up the beautiful landscapes of northern Italyespecially his watercolor of Trento and his series called Welsch Piert (italian mountains). Years later he would travel again through this country that he adored, as reflected in one of his letters:

Oh, how much I will miss the sun! Here I am a gentleman, at home a parasite.

-Alberto Dürer-

On his second trip he would return to Venice, a city that had already captivated him during his first trip. There he met the painter Giovanni Bellini and the German community of the city commissioned him to make an altarpiece for the altar of the church of San Bartolomeo.

He was no longer an unknown artist, as he had been during his first trip, now she was a renowned artist. This is reflected in another of the commissions received during his stay in Venice, to paint The festival of the Rosary.

It is an oil painting commissioned by the banker Jacob Fugger, a very influential character at the time and who would be an intermediary between Emperor Maximilian and Pope Julius II. Without a doubt, this work will provide him with the favor of the emperor who will grant him an annual pension. Today it can be seen in the National Gallery in Prague.

Aachen and the Netherlands, his last trip

Installed again in Nuremberg, Dürer learns that the new emperor, Charles V of Germany, is going to travel to Aachen. As the previous emperor had granted him a pension, he decides to visit Carlos V to make sure that he kept it. A trip that he financed with the sale of works and commissions along the way.

A) Yes, in Antwerp he makes the picture of Saint Jerome in meditation for the Portuguese diplomat Ruy Fernández de Almeida. Today it can be seen in the National Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon.

If you are one of those travelers who like to follow in the footsteps of renowned artists such as Albrecht Dürer, do not hesitate to visit these cities in which this artist of the German Renaissance was.

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