A Young Girl of Cologne and Durer’s Wife (1520) by Albrecht Durer

A Young Girl of Cologne and Durer's Wife - Albrecht Durer - 1520

Artwork Information

TitleA Young Girl of Cologne and Durer's Wife
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationAlbertina, Vienna, Austria

About A Young Girl of Cologne and Durer's Wife

The artwork titled “A Young Girl of Cologne and Durer’s Wife” is an eminent piece by the Northern Renaissance master Albrecht Durer, dating back to the year 1520. Depicted in metalpoint, a medium known for its precision and delicacy, the portrait encapsulates the aesthetic and technical characteristics that define this period of art history. Currently housed in the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria, this artwork exemplary portrays the Northern Renaissance’s devotion to detail and realism.

The artwork presents two female figures positioned in profile and juxtaposed for comparative observation. On the left, a young girl is depicted with elaborate headwear, featuring a delicately rendered coif, braids, and a circular adornment that crowns her hairstyle. Her youthful features are accentuated by refined lines that describe her contemplative expression and her intricately detailed attire that speaks of the era’s fashion.

Beside her, the right-hand side of the artwork captures an older woman, purportedly Durer’s wife, with a strong and resilient visage. She wears a headdress as well, though it is more subdued and envelops her head in a manner more indicative of her maturity. The headwear’s fabric folds are expertly sketched, and her visage is marked by distinct lines that reveal a life rich with experiences. Together, these two portraits offer insight into the societal stature and roles of women during the time of Durer, as well as the artist’s adeptness in capturing the essence of his subjects with profound empathy and skill.

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