Kneeling Apostle (1508) by Albrecht Durer

Kneeling Apostle - Albrecht Durer - 1508

Artwork Information

TitleKneeling Apostle
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationKupferstichkabinett Berlin, Berlin, Germany

About Kneeling Apostle

The “Kneeling Apostle” is a sketch and study by the German artist Albrecht Dürer, dating back to 1508. As a representation of the Northern Renaissance movement, this work belongs to the studies for the “Heller Altarpiece.” The piece is housed in the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, Germany.

The artwork itself portrays a bearded apostle figure in a dynamic and expressive pose. He is depicted kneeling with one knee on the ground, and the other foot supporting him. The apostle appears to be in the act of either reaching forward or about to stand, extending one hand outward. His face is turned upwards, and a sense of movement is evident in his draped cloak that flows around him, suggesting a moment of intense emotion or revelation.

The use of light and shadow creates a dramatic effect, emphasizing the folds of the garment and the facial features of the apostle. Dürer’s mastery in rendering the texture of the fabric and the lifelike expression of the apostle is evident, showcasing his impressive skill in capturing both the human form and the intricacies of drapery.

The artwork shows Dürer’s distinctive signet—a mark of his authorship—beside the date 1508 in the upper right corner, which indicates the year of creation. The sketch is a testimony to Dürer’s intricate preparatory work for larger compositions. It provides insight into the meticulous process the artist undertook before executing his more complex paintings and altarpieces.

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