Portrait of a Young Man (1520) by Albrecht Durer

Portrait of a Young Man - Albrecht Durer - 1520

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a Young Man
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationGemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany

About Portrait of a Young Man

The artwork “Portrait of a Young Man” by Albrecht Durer, completed in 1520, is a seminal work of the Northern Renaissance. It belongs to the portraiture genre and is currently held at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, Germany. The Northern Renaissance was known for its detail-oriented and realistic approach to art, exhibiting a keen interest in the physical world and the individuals within it, which is evident in this portrait.

The artwork captures the visage of a young man in striking detail. The subject’s gaze, directed slightly off-canvas, suggests a contemplative demeanor. Durer’s masterful rendering is evident in the intricacies of the young man’s features—from the expressive eyes to the tonal variations of the skin. The man is donned in attire indicative of the period, with a particularly elaborate hat that draws attention due to its size and the intricate folds of the fabric. The textures of the clothing, from the soft waves of the hair to the crisp lines of the ruff around his neck, display Durer’s extraordinary skill in conveying different materials.

Notably, the artist has inscribed the year of creation, “1520,” along with the monogram “AD,” signifying his authorship, at the top of the piece. The choice of monochrome tones emphasizes the play of light and shadow, further contributing to the depth and realism for which Durer is celebrated. This portrait is a testament not only to the artist’s technical prowess but also to his ability to capture the essence of individual character, which remains an enduring hallmark of the Northern Renaissance.

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