Albrecht Durer: Catalyst of the Northern Renaissance Essay

2177 Words 9 Pages
When one thinks of the Renaissance, usually what comes to mind is the Italians or Italy, where artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, and Raffaello Sanzio trained, studied, and worked. These artists are based mainly in Southern Europe of course, but what about Northern European countries like Germany? What were the Germans up to and how did this new way of thinking as well as new use of techniques and tools spread up there, to Germany, and other countries? It is believed by many that Albrecht Durer was the main catalyst and one of the most important contributors for the Northern Renaissance. Many artists visited Italy at the time of the Italian Renassaince, but Durer seemed to be someone who completely embraced the …show more content…
His travels led him to several countries and artists. Minott explains that Durer’s “return from Italy to Nuremberg in 1495 at the age of twenty-four marks the end of his formative journeyman years” (7). A few months later, Durer made a trip to Italy. At this time, Nuremberg was facing a plague as well and may have led Durer to this decision. He went alone, painting watercolor sketches on his way to the country. A few of these were of landscapes, later to be referenced and used to create works such as Nemesis (Fig. 1). These were definitely examples of some of the earliest pure landscape studies in Western art. From the only two trips Durer took to Italy, he became completely inspired and fascinated by the idea of the rebirth of art and influence of the talented artists in Venice. Durer learned more tricks of the trade as well, dealing with dry point wood engraving and more. He also enjoyed incorporating a good amount of symbolism or stories in to his pieces. “Nemesis’ symbolic attributes [for example] were adapted by Durer as a visual translation from Politian’s poem, Manto” (Minott 10). Just goes to show an on looker that, not only was he a man of talent, but he was thoughtful too.
When he arrived back home from his first trip to Italy, he opened his own workshop and began to publish his own prints. “Ultimately the prints, not his paintings, made
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