Birth of Mary (1503 – 1504) by Albrecht Durer

Birth of Mary - Albrecht Durer - 1503 - 1504

Artwork Information

TitleBirth of Mary
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1503 - 1504
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationKupferstichkabinett Berlin, Berlin, Germany

About Birth of Mary

The artwork titled “Birth of Mary” by Albrecht Dürer dates back to 1503-1504 and falls within the Northern Renaissance art movement. This religious painting is part of the collection at the Kupferstichkabinett Berlin in Berlin, Germany. The image depicts an intricate indoor scene with multiple figures, which is characteristic of the detailed and precise style of the Northern Renaissance.

Dürer’s drawing showcases a domestic interior where the birth of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is taking place. In the foreground, on the left side, a woman is depicted lying on a bed, recovering from childbirth, surrounded by attentively caring figures, which may be midwives or attendants. An infant, possibly Mary herself, is being cradled and cared for by another woman in the center.

The room is richly detailed, giving a glimpse into the interiors of the era. Architectural elements such as arched ceilings, a hanging chandelier for illumination, and curtains separating the bedchamber from the rest of the space are skillfully etched. Some vestments or cloth pieces are draped across a partition, adding to the sense of depth and texture within the room. A sense of tranquility and everyday life can be inferred from the composed actions of the figures and the homely details.

On the right, a figure stands praying or possibly washing their hands at a basin, carrying on with the necessary rituals or routines associated with childbirth.

At the bottom of the drawing, Dürer’s monogram “AD” can be seen, which is how he often signed his works. The artwork as a whole portrays a significant biblical event with a remarkable attention to realism and detail, which is a key feature of Albrecht Dürer’s artistic mastery and the Northern Renaissance period.

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