Doomsday (c.1500) by Albrecht Durer

Doomsday - Albrecht Durer - c.1500

Artwork Information

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

About Doomsday

“Doomsday” is a work by Albrecht Durer, created around 1500 during the Northern Renaissance. The genre of the artwork is religious painting, and it is part of the collection at the British Museum in London, UK. Durer was known for his detailed and complex woodcuts, engravings, and paintings, and “Doomsday” is a representation of his ability to convey dramatic and powerful religious narratives.

The artwork is a highly detailed monochromatic piece, filled with numerous figures and dynamic action. At the top of the composition, Christ is depicted sitting in judgment surrounded by a mandorla—a halo of light. His right hand is raised, while his left hand is open, signaling the division of the blessed and the damned. Angels with trumpets and saints can be seen gathering around Christ, and beneath, the dead rise from their graves, responding to the call of judgment.

In the lower region of the image, there’s a stark contrast as it showcases the damned being led away by fierce demonic figures toward Hell. The meticulous detailing in the expressions of the resurrected beings, the folds of the clothing, and even the textures in the clouds and landscapes showcase Durer’s mastery of engraving. The artwork embodies the dramatic intensity associated with the religious and eschatological themes of the Renaissance period.

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