Portrait of the Artist’s Mother at the Age of 63 is a notable charcoal drawing created in 1514 by the famous German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. This portrait shows Dürer’s mother, Barbara Holper, who was suffering from various illnesses and had given birth to 18 children, with only three surviving. The portrait is known for its unflinching physical study of Barbara Holper’s aged and tired appearance.
Despite this depiction, Dürer clearly had strong feelings towards his mother, writing that he felt “so grieved for her that I cannot express it.” This tenderness can be seen in the gentle rendering of her expression and technique used to highlight specific details such as wrinkles around her eyes and nose.
The portrait is considered one of Dürer’s most precious treasures due to its emotional resonance and technical expertise. It is currently located in the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett museum where it continues to inspire artists and scholars alike.
In addition to this masterpiece, Dürer is well-known for his contributions across various mediums such as altarpieces, portraits, copper engravings, and religious works. His impact on art during the Renaissance period has been profound and long-lasting.