Mary with a pear (1511) by Albrecht Durer

Mary with a pear - Albrecht Durer - 1511

Artwork Information

TitleMary with a pear
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Mary with a pear

“Mary with a pear” is an engraving created by the renowned Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer in 1511. This religious painting is associated with the Northern Renaissance art movement and is presently held in a private collection. The engravings of Dürer are known for their intricate detail and craftsmanship, reflecting the technical skill and thematic depth that characterize his body of work.

The image you’ve provided depicts the Virgin Mary seated with the Christ Child in her lap. Mary is shown gently holding a pear, which Christ Child reaches out to grasp, symbolizing the fruit of paradise and perhaps alluding to the fruit of knowledge from the biblical Garden of Eden. The scene is set outdoors with a detailed landscape in the background. To the left, architecture typical of the era can be seen, including a bridge, buildings, and a domed structure. The vast sky with clouds suggests a celestial connection, emphasizing the divinity of the figures.

The foreground shows a detailed portrayal of plants and a fallen piece of paper or parchment with a seemingly geometric drawing. The fall of this object may suggest human folly or the abandon of worldly knowledge in the face of divine wisdom. A large, twisted tree trunk is featured prominently to the right of Mary, adding to the composition’s depth and the theme of nature’s endurance.

The clothing of Mary and the Christ Child is rendered with fine lines, demonstrating Dürer’s skill in creating texture and volume through the medium of engraving. Overall, the artwork is a testament to Dürer’s ability to combine religious iconography with the natural world, creating a layered narrative within the image.

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