Albrecht Durer
by Justin Abell

     The artist that influenced me the most this year in AP Art History was Albrecht Durer. I chose Durer because he was the founder of using printmaking as an art form and for his love of nature. I have always had an interest in graphic arts and a great respect for the beauty of nature. I also enjoy the dark themes of some of Durer’s works.


     Durer's prints were extremely accurate. He believed that art should be scientifically accurate. He would actually get down in a field so he could see the individual blades of grass up close. Durer did sketches and prints of all kinds from the texture of a blade of grass to intense shadows of a horse’s leg muscle. I feel that an artist should truly get into what he/she is doing and Durer did just that. He published books on ideal proportion and perspective, which shows his passion for art and his determination for accuracy.

   Age 13
     Durer thought highly of himself, which is always good for one’s health. This becomes evident in the many self-portraits he sketched, the first at age 13. He gave himself a Christ-like pose to imply the high status of the artist. Although he did paint himself in confident poses, some his works had quite dark themes. “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” and “Knight, Death and the Devil” are both works which convey extremely dark themes. They both have elements of death involved, but I tend to like “Knight, Death and the Devil” because it has a certain fear and feeling of surprise to it. I like fear when it can be looked upon and analyzed as it is in the print.

     Durer accomplished a lot in his lifetime. He led the German Renaissance along with Grunwald and Holbein, he was the first to establish printmaking as an art form, and he had such a passion for his studies that it would lead him to his death. He died from a fatal fever that he caught while trudging through a swamp to examine a dead whale up close. I admire and respect Durer for his creativity, for founding graphic arts, and for his dedication to the art world.

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