Here are some famous Albrecht Dürer quotes by the Northern Renaissance painter.
Who was Albrecht Dürer?
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) was a German painter, engraver, and mathematician who is widely regarded as one of the greatest artists of the Northern Renaissance. Born in Nuremberg, Germany, Dürer was the son of a goldsmith and was apprenticed to his father’s workshop at a young age. He later studied under the painter and printmaker Michael Wolgemut.
Dürer’s early works were mainly woodcuts and engravings, which he used to illustrate books and create prints for sale. He became known for his intricate, detailed images, which often featured religious and mythological themes. He also began to paint in oils, creating works such as the “Adoration of the Magi” and the “Paumgartner Altar.”
In 1505, Dürer made his first trip to Italy, where he was influenced by the art and culture of the Italian Renaissance. He returned to Germany with a new interest in classical motifs and human anatomy, which he incorporated into his later works.
Dürer’s most famous works include his self-portraits, such as the “Self-Portrait at 28” and the “Self-Portrait at 26,” as well as his prints such as “Melencolia I” and “Knight, Death, and the Devil.”
In addition to his artistic endeavors, Dürer was also interested in mathematics and wrote several treatises on the subject. He died in Nuremberg in 1528, leaving behind a legacy as one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance.
Albrecht Dürer’s Contribution to Art History
Albrecht Dürer is considered one of the most significant artists of the Northern Renaissance, and his contributions to art history are many. One of his most significant contributions was his mastery of printmaking techniques, particularly engraving and woodcutting. He was a skilled draftsman, and his prints are notable for their intricate details and complex compositions.
Dürer was also an innovator in the field of perspective, using mathematical principles to create realistic spatial illusions in his works. He was among the first artists to use linear perspective in his drawings and paintings, and his treatise “Underweysung der Messung” (Instruction in Measurement) was one of the first manuals on the subject.
Another important aspect of Dürer’s work was his interest in human anatomy, which he studied in depth to create more realistic depictions of the human form. His drawings of the human body are noted for their accuracy and attention to detail, and they influenced later artists such as Leonardo da Vinci.
Dürer was also known for his exploration of classical themes and motifs, which he incorporated into his works in a way that reflected the cultural exchange between Italy and Northern Europe during the Renaissance. He was interested in the idea of the artist as a creator, and his self-portraits and other works often reflected this concept.
Albrecht Dürer Quotes
- “Why has God given me such magnificent talent? It is a curse as well as a great blessing”
- “Some think that they know everybody, but they really don’t know themselves”
- “I hold that the perfection of form and beauty is contained in the sum of all men”
- “There is no man on earth who can give a final judgment on what the most beautiful shape may be. Only God knows”
- “My father suffered much and toiled painfully all his life, for he had no resources other than the proceeds of his trade from which to support himself and his wife and family”
- “Truly, art is embedded in nature; he who can extract it, has it”
- “He that would be a painter must have a natural turn thereto. Love and delight therein are better of the Art of Painting than compulsion
- “Anyone who is among us today, may be buried tomorrow”
- “What beauty is, I know not, though it adheres to many things”
- “Simplicity is the greatest adornment of art”
- “And since geometry is the right foundation of all painting, I have decided to teach its rudiments and principles to all youngsters eager for art”
- “The artist is chosen by God to fulfill his commands and must never be overwhelmed by public opinion”
- “Help us to recognize your voice, help us not to be allured by the madness of the world, so that we may never fall away from you, O Lord Jesus Christ”
- “Sane judgment abhors nothing so much as a picture perpetrated with no technical knowledge, although with plenty of care and diligence”
- “Geometry is the foundation of all painting”
- “If a man devotes himself to art, much evil is avoided that happens otherwise if one is idle”
- “No single man can be taken as a model for a perfect figure, for no man lives on earth who is endowed with the whole of beauty”
- “Love and delight are better teachers than compulsion”
- “Sight is the noblest sense of man”
- “The treasure secretly gathered in your heart will become evident through your creative work”
- “The new art must be based upon science – in particular, upon mathematics, as the most exact, logical, and graphically constructive of the sciences”
- “Art is embedded in nature and they who can extract it, have it”
- “As I grew older, I realized that it was much better to insist on the genuine forms of nature, for simplicity is the greatest adornment of art”
- “Nature holds the beautiful, for the artist who has the insight to extract it. Thus, beauty lies even in humble, perhaps ugly things, and the ideal, which bypasses or improves on nature, may not be truly beautiful in the end”
- “An artist of understanding and experience can show more of his great power and art in small things roughly and rudely done, than many another in a great work. A man may often draw something with his pen on a half sheet of paper in one day… and it shall be fuller of art and better than another’s great work whereon he hath spent a whole year’s careful labor”
- “But I shall let the little I have learnt go forth into the day in order that someone better than I may guess the truth, and in his work may prove and rebuke my error. At this I shall rejoice that I was yet a means whereby this truth has come to light”