Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand (detail, Supposed Self Portrait) (1508) by Albrecht Durer

Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand (detail, Supposed Self Portrait) - Albrecht Durer - 1508

Artwork Information

TitleMartyrdom of the Ten Thousand (detail, Supposed Self Portrait)
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand (detail, Supposed Self Portrait)

The artwork titled “Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand” is a painting created by the famed Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer in 1508. The detail you provided features a supposed self-portrait of Dürer himself, incorporated within the larger scene of the artwork. As a prominent figure of the Northern Renaissance, Dürer’s work is characterized by its incredible detail, symbolic content, and use of fine lines.

In this particular detail of the painting, we see a figure that is thought to represent Dürer himself, standing confidently and holding what appears to be a staff. He is dressed in dark clothing with a flowing cloak and has a noticeable beard. His presence commands attention amidst the backdrop of distress that is implied in the larger theme of the work, which illustrates the suffering and martyrdom of the ten thousand Christians led by Roman soldier Acacius, according to Christian legend. The figure’s facial expression is solemn and his gaze meets the viewer, further suggesting the significant role of the artist within the painting. The scene includes other characters and possibly some violent or sorrowful undertones indicated by the presence of what appears to be a body in the background, which aligns with the painting’s religious and historic subject matter.

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