Albrecht Durer Self-Portrait Essay

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Albrecht Durer SelfPortrait Artist and Humanist, Albrecht Durer is one of the most significant figures in the history f European art outside Italy during the Renaissance (Gowing 195). Portraying the questioning spirit of the Renaissance, Durer's conviction that he must examine and explore his own situation through capturing the very essence of his role as artist and creator, is reflected in the Self-portrait in a Fur Collared Robe (Strieder 10).

With the portrait, Durer's highly self-conscious approach to his status as an artist coveys his exalted mission of art more clearly than in any other painting. He seems to be "less concerned with himself as a person than with himself as an artist, and less with the artist than with the
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Symmetrically arranging his serious, handsome face and mass of shoulder length hair deliberately invite comparison with the image of Christ. The idealized arrangement and strict symmetry of the face is based on a construction made up of circle and a triangle, a formula used down to the Byzantine period for images of the Redeemer. The frontal pose and symmetrical composition have recurred in many images of Christ, particularly in the form of the vera icon, or "true image" (Strieder14).

No architectural setting appears within the plain, black background of the painting (Hutchison 67). The darkened tone and limited but unified color scheme create a mood of sanctity (Hutchinson 68). The contours of the face are molded by means of soft light and transparent shadows, almost in an attempt to fathom the inner depths of Durer's creative spirit (Strieder 147). Set against the dark background, the strong face and chin emanate an impression of energy from the portrait. Within the background on the right-hand side, the inscription reads "I Albrecht Durer of Nuremberg painted myself thus, with undying colors, at the age of twenty-eight years" (Hutchinson 67). This was a personal verification of the quality of his materials and his
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