German painting

Dresden Altar, Albrecht Durer

  • Author: Albrecht Durer
  • Museum: Dresden Gallery
  • Year: About 1496
  • Click image for larger version

Description of the picture:

Dresden Altar - Albrecht Durer. About 1496. Wood, oil. The central panel - 117х96, lateral - 114х45

Altar marks the beginning of a mature period in the work of Albrecht Dürer. In 1495 the artist arrived in Nuremberg. He was patronized by the Elector of Saxony, Frederick the Wise. Durer created for him a number of works, among them the polyptych presented.
The plot of the central panel - worship of the Virgin Mary to the Baby. Left wing depicts St. Anthony (with the traditional attribute - the bell, although without the pig for which it was originally intended), he is calm, despite the fact that he is surrounded by all sorts of fantastic creatures that tempted him in the desert. On the right flap - saint sebastian. His appearance is unconventional: the arrows with which he was pierced are absent, but there are wounds left on his body (neck, collarbone and abdomen). In 1495, a terrible plague broke out in Germany, which became one of the reasons for the artist’s departure to Italy. This altar with the image of the saint is evidence of its successful outcome for the artist.
The central panel in addition to the main scene contains important plot details. So, next to the Virgin Mary, a book was placed on the pu-pit. This is an allusion to the Book of Wisdom of Solomon. Thus, it is clear that Durer interprets Her image as "Virgo Sapientissima" (from Latin - "Virgin Mary the Wisdom") or "Mater Sapientiae" (from Latin - "Mother Wisdom"). Angels hold a crown over the head of the Virgin, which points to her as "Regina Coeli" (from Latin - "Queen of Heaven", as she is called in mystical literature of the XII-XIII centuries). In the background, on the left, Joseph the carpenter is working at his workbench; on the right, the street view and the donkey standing by the house, hinting at the flight to Egypt.

Other pictures of Albrecht Durer

Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary
Portrait of a young man
Adoration of the Magi
Father portrait
Self Portrait 1498
Early self-portrait 1493
The Virgin and Child with St. Anne
Four Apostles
Praying hands
Holiday wreaths of roses

Watch the video: Renaissance and Reformation. German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach (October 2019).