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Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer (May 21, 1471 - April 6, 1528) was born in Nuremberg. His father, also named Albrecht Dürer, had limited means, but fortunately a successful German printer named Anton Koberger[?] became the young Dürer's godfather and friend. Dürer learned from Michael Wolgemut[?] the arts of painting, wood carving[?] and copper engraving[?]. He was also befriended by the important humanist scholar Willibald Pirckheimer[?].

Dürer travelled both in Germanic areas and in Italy, making two extended stays in Venice.


Dürer is best known for his woodcuts in series. His Apocalypse of 1498 is a group of 15 woodcuts. He published two series on the crucifixion of Christ, the Great Passion of 1498-1510 and the Little Passion of 1510-11. He also published many individual prints, such as Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513) and Melancholia I (1514). He also produced a portrait of Erasmus (1526).

As well as painting many famous people of the day, starting with Maximilian I of the Holy Roman Empire, and crafting altar pieces, Dürer was also active in the fields of mathematics and geometry in Nuremberg.

His engraving Melancholia I (shown above right) is notable for being an allegorical depiction of the main symptoms of depression. The numbers in the top right form a magic square, with the two middle cells of the bottom row giving the date of the engraving: 1514.

Famous works include:

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