Apollo (1504) by Albrecht Durer

Apollo - Albrecht Durer - 1504

Artwork Information

ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationBritish Museum, London, UK

About Apollo

The artwork titled “Apollo” is a mythological painting by the artist Albrecht Dürer from the year 1504. This work is associated with the Northern Renaissance art movement and it is located in the British Museum in London, UK. The genre reflects the artist’s translation of mythological subject matter through the lens of the Northern Renaissance style.

The image depicts Apollo, the classical god of the sun, music, and prophecy, amongst other attributes. Apollo is presented as a robust and statuesque male figure standing in a contrapposto pose, meaning his weight is shifted onto one leg, giving his stance a sense of dynamism. He is holding a laurel branch, a symbol often associated with victory, in his raised left hand, while the right hand grasps a bow, signifying his role as the god of archery. Above the laurel branch is a radiant halo with the name “APOLLO” inscribed within it, emphasizing his divine nature.

Around Apollo, various other elements contribute to the mythological atmosphere, including what appears to be ruins and possibly a representation of an ancient sacrificial altar. The detailed linework and the delicate shading showcase Dürer’s exceptional skill in printmaking and drawing, which is characteristic of the Northern Renaissance’s emphasis on meticulous detail and texture. The monochromatic drawing renders the muscular and anatomical features of the god with great precision, demonstrating the Renaissance fascination with the human form and the revival of classical antiquity in art.

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