Portrait Donors (1506) by Albrecht Durer

Portrait Donors - Albrecht Durer - 1506

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait Donors
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Portrait Donors

The artwork in question is attributed to Albrecht Dürer, a seminal figure of the Northern Renaissance, and is dated to 1506. This piece is a portrait, which was a prevalent genre during Dürer’s time, especially among patrons and donors who wanted to memorialize their likeness and status.

The artwork is a finely detailed portrait that showcases a man standing in a three-quarter profile. He appears to be of a prosperous status, evidenced by his elegant clothing—a full-length garment with voluminous sleeves, folds, and details. The man’s hands are clasped in front of him, holding what could be a piece of fabric or gloves, elements that indicate his refined lifestyle. His hat seems to be a part of the attire that was fashionable during the early 16th century.

The portrait is executed with meticulous attention to detail, particularly in the rendering of the textures of the fabric and the facial features. There’s a realistic interplay of light and shadow across the figure, with Dürer’s use of line demonstrating his mastery of the medium. Notably, there is an inscription at the bottom with the year “1506” and Dürer’s monogram, providing evidence of the artwork’s origin and authentication by the artist himself. The monochromatic color scheme indicates this may be a drawing rather than a painting, which would be characteristic of Dürer’s skill with such media. This work exemplifies Albrecht Dürer’s talent for portraying human figures with a high degree of naturalism and sophistication, consistent with the Northern Renaissance movement’s focus on detail, empirical observation, and individualism in portraiture.

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