Portrait of Dürer’s Mother Barbara is a 1490 portrait painting by German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer.
Analysis of Portrait of Dürer’s Mother Barbara
This portrait of Dürer’s Mother Barbara was painted by Albrecht Dürer around 1490 when she was approximately 39 years old. The physicality of the painting – Barbara occupies most of the picture space and Albrecht pays particular attention to the painting of the details of the face and folds of the neck – seems to be in tension with Barbara’s expression which seems to reveal a melancholic reverie, as she looks out to our right.
This picture is notable for its use of basic colors – we only see four. A green background, white headwear, burgundy clothing, and the flesh color of the face, neck, and hands. Just a simple color palette is remarkable given the realistic nature of the portrait.
This work, titled Bildnis von Barbara Dürer, geb. Holper in his native German is in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Germany.