Apollo (1500 – 1505) by Albrecht Durer

Apollo - Albrecht Durer - 1500 - 1505

Artwork Information

ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1500 - 1505
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationKunsthaus Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

About Apollo

The artwork “Apollo” by Albrecht Dürer, created between 1500 and 1505, is an exemplar of the Northern Renaissance art movement. It is categorized as a mythological painting and is presently housed at Kunsthaus Zürich in Switzerland. This piece reflects the intellectual spirit and the heightened interest in classical antiquity that were hallmarks of the Renaissance period in Europe.

In the artwork, the figure of Apollo, a deity from Greek and Roman mythology, is portrayed with meticulous attention to detail—a characteristic of Dürer’s work. Apollo is depicted as a young, muscular man standing in a contrapposto pose, which underscores his dynamic nature and classical beauty. He holds a bundle of arrows in his left hand and with his right hand extends towards a radiant solar disc, emphasizing his association with the sun. The arrows and the lyre lying at his feet are traditional attributes that identify him as both the god of archery and the god of music. This detailed study showcases the power and idealized form associated with the Olympian god, while also highlighting the artist’s skill in rendering the human anatomy with precision and grace.

The monochromatic execution suggests the artwork may be a drawing, highlighting Dürer’s mastery of line and form, and his ability to convey depth, texture, and light. The restraint in color serves to focus the viewer’s attention on the form and physical presence of Apollo. Considering the cultural context, the artwork may also be seen as an embodiment of the Northern Renaissance’s synthesis of classical themes with the intricate and heightened realism that Northern European artists favored.

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