Portrait of Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony (1496) by Albrecht Durer

Portrait of Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony - Albrecht Durer - 1496

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Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Dimensions57 x 76 cm
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationGemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany

About Portrait of Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony

The artwork “Portrait of Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony” is a Northern Renaissance piece created by Albrecht Durer in 1496. This portrait, executed on canvas with tempera, measures 57 x 76 cm. The piece expertly captures the likeness of Frederick the Wise and currently resides in the Gemaldegalerie in Berlin, Germany.

In the portrait, Frederick the Wise is depicted wearing a dark garment with golden stripes—an attire befitting his status. His expression is serious, with discerning eyes that seem to actively engage the viewer. Durer’s use of tempera allows for vivid detail, particularly noticeable in Frederick’s curly hair and the textures of his clothes. The sitter’s hat is distinctively styled, which along with his clothing, reflects the fashion of the time. His hand rests on a ledge, a common motif in portraits of the era, signifying stability and authority. This work is marked by Durer’s characteristic attention to detail and realism, which was influential in defining the Northern Renaissance’s approach to portraiture.

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