Portrait of Elector Friedrich the Wise (1523) by Albrecht Durer

Portrait of Elector Friedrich the Wise - Albrecht Durer - 1523

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Elector Friedrich the Wise
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationEcole nationale superieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA), Paris, France

About Portrait of Elector Friedrich the Wise

“Portrait of Elector Friedrich the Wise” is a piece by Albrecht Dürer, created in 1523 during the Northern Renaissance. This portrait is classified within the genre of portraiture and presently resides at the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA) in Paris, France.

As for the artwork itself, the piece is a skilful drawing that captures the likeness of Friedrich the Wise with striking realism and attention to detail. The portrait shows the subject’s head and upper shoulders. Friedrich is donning a head covering, which appears to be a soft beret adorned with what looks like a jewel in the center. The face is mature, with a strong nose, deep set eyes beneath furrowed brows, and a gaze that seems to be looking off to the side. Much emphasis is put on the textural details of his hair and beard, which are rendered with fine, curly lines, indicating Dürer’s mastery in portraying texture. Dürer’s monogram can be seen in the drawing, acting both as a signature and a mark of authenticity. The overall drawing showcases the characteristic detail and finesse that typify Dürer’s work and the Northern Renaissance style, eschewing idealized images for more realistic and individualized depictions.

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