Albrecht Dürer was born on May 21, 1471. He was an incredibly gifted and versatile German artist of the Renaissance period and one of the strongest artistic and commercial centers in Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. He was known as a brilliant painter, draftsman, theorist and writer, though his first and probably greatest artistic impact was in the medium of printmaking.
After a few years of school, Dürer began learning the basics of goldsmithing and drawing under the mentorship of his father. Despite the fact, that Albrecht‘s father wanted him to pursue goldsmithing, he showed such a precocious talent in drawing, that he began his studies under the guidance of Michael Wolgemut in 1486.
After completing his education, Albrecht Dürer undertook multiple cities and countries, where he met and worked with different other artists. As a result, he became one of the most outstanding painters, draftsmen, printmakers, theorists and writers of his time. His vast body of work includes altarpieces and religious works, numerous portraits and self-portraits, as well as copper engravings. However, Dürer established his reputation and influence across Europe, when he was in his twenties, due to his high-quality woodcut prints.
Dürer‘s most notable engravings include the Knight, Death and the Devil (1513), St. Jerome in His Study (1514) and Melencolia I (1514), the works, that were the subjects of extensive analysis and interpretation. Besides, his watercolours made him one of the first European landscape artists, while his ambitious woodcuts revolutionized the potential of that medium.
It’s also worth noting, that Dürer gained prominence as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance for introduction classical motifs into Northern art through his knowledge of Italian artists and German humanists. Moreover, it was Albrecht Dürer, who invented the basic principle of ray tracing, a technique, used in modern computer graphics.
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