Portrait of a Man (1516) by Albrecht Durer

Portrait of a Man - Albrecht Durer - 1516

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a Man
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Portrait of a Man

The artwork titled “Portrait of a Man” was executed by the masterful artist Albrecht Dürer in the year 1516. It is an exemplar of the Northern Renaissance art movement, specifically within the genre of portraiture. The piece serves as a testament to Dürer’s remarkable ability to capture human essence and individuality.

The artwork presents a man in a three-quarters view, which allows for a detailed depiction of his visage and attire. His gaze is directed off to the side, giving the portrait a thoughtful and introspective quality. The man’s features are delicately rendered, with fine lines carefully capturing the nuances of his expression and the texture of his skin. Dürer’s mastery of shading is evident in the subtle transitions of light and dark, which imbue the subject with a lifelike appearance.

One of the most striking elements of the portrait is the man’s hat, adorned with ornate decorations including elaborate patterns and what appears to be a feather or a plume. The headwear is indicative of the fashion during the period in which the portrait was created. Below the hat, the man’s hair is visible, with individual strands meticulously etched in the medium of the work.

Around the neck, the man wears an intricately designed chain that signifies a status of wealth or importance, further accentuated by the detailed layers of the garment underneath. The high level of craftsmanship in the depiction of clothing textures demonstrates Dürer’s skill not only as a portraitist but also as an observer of contemporary fashion and materials.

At the bottom of the artwork, the date “1516” is inscribed, anchored by Dürer’s recognizable monogram, signifying his authorship and anchoring the work firmly in its historical context. The formal qualities of the artwork—its composition, technique, and style—reflect the cultural and artistic vibrancy of the Northern Renaissance and solidify Albrecht Dürer’s status as a pivotal figure of his time.

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