Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon (1526) by Albrecht Durer

Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon - Albrecht Durer - 1526

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Philipp Melanchthon
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon

The artwork “Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon” is an engraving by Albrecht Dürer, completed in 1526. Dürer, a prolific artist of the Northern Renaissance, chose the influential German scholar Philipp Melanchthon as the subject of this portrait. This work is linked to the Northern Renaissance art movement, characterized by attention to detail and an interest in portraying individuals with realism. The engraving captures Melanchthon’s likeness with meticulous detail and is considered a genre piece in portraiture. The artwork is currently held in a private collection.

The engraving showcases Melanchthon in profile, a common style of the period for its elegant depiction of individuals’ features. Melanchthon’s facial expression is serious and contemplative, with detailed lines etched to form his hair and beard, emphasizing texture and depth. His attire, with a fur collar and a robe, reflects the fashion of the intellectual elite of the time. In the image, you can see a Latin inscription indicating Dürer’s admiration for Melanchthon’s intellect, stating that while Dürer could depict his appearance, he could not capture his mind. The year “1526” is prominently displayed along with Dürer’s monogram “AD,” which was a signature feature of his works. The portrait not only serves as an individual commemoration but also exemplifies the Northern Renaissance’s merging of technical skill and intellectual homage within the medium of engraving.

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