Adoration of the Trinity (Landauer Altarpiece) (1511) by Albrecht Durer

Adoration of the Trinity (Landauer Altarpiece) - Albrecht Durer - 1511

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Artwork Information

TitleAdoration of the Trinity (Landauer Altarpiece)
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

About Adoration of the Trinity (Landauer Altarpiece)

The “Adoration of the Trinity (Landauer Altarpiece)” is a religious painting by Albrecht Dürer, created in 1511. This Northern Renaissance oil on panel masterpiece is housed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. The artwork embodies the artistic and religious influences of its time.

The painting is a vibrant and complex depiction of various figures adoring the Holy Trinity. In the center, God the Father is shown seated on a throne, with a crucified Christ (the Son) in front and the Holy Spirit, represented as a dove, positioned between them. This grouping forms the Trinity.

The composition is dense with a multitude of figures, both heavenly and earthly, gathered in worship. Above, a host of angels surrounds the Trinity, some playing musical instruments, and others in reverent poses. Below the central scene, a diverse assembly of saints, martyrs, clerics, and biblical figures are depicted. These terrestrial worshippers are arranged in a semicircle that opens toward the viewer, drawing us into the celestial celebration.

The detail and color in the painting are remarkable, showcasing Dürer’s skill in rendering textures of fabric, expressions of devotion, and the grandeur of the divine assembly. The landscape visible in the lower sections adds depth and connects the heavenly with the earthly.

Considerable attention is given to the realistic portrayal of individual figures and their richly adorned garments, highlighting Dürer’s interest in humanism and the study of classical antiquity, which influenced his style within the Northern Renaissance. Additionally, the painting displays a synthesis of late Gothic and Italian Renaissance artistic principles, as seen in the elaborate use of perspective and the anatomical accuracy of the figures.

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