Head of St. Mark (1526) by Albrecht Durer

Head of St. Mark - Albrecht Durer - 1526

Artwork Information

TitleHead of St. Mark
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationKupferstichkabinett Berlin, Berlin, Germany

About Head of St. Mark

This graphite on paper sketch, titled “Head of St. Mark,” is a work by Albrecht Dürer from 1526. Representing the Northern Renaissance art movement, this artwork is categorized as a sketch and study and forms part of Dürer’s series studying the “Four Apostles.” The drawing is housed at the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, Germany.

The piece displays a detailed study of a man’s head, likely as a preparatory work for a larger painting. The portrait showcases a figure with curly hair and a beard, looking off to the side with a contemplative gaze. The mastery of Dürer is evident in the rendering of the hair’s curls and the subtle gradations of light and shadow that give the face a three-dimensional appearance. Expression lines on the forehead and around the eyes contribute to the lifelike quality of the sketch. The intensity of the subject’s gaze and the thoughtful expression are characteristic of the humanist approach to individuality during the Renaissance. The date “1526” and Dürer’s monogram are visible on the paper, marking the artist’s ownership and completion of the work.

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