Self-Portrait as the Man of Sorrows (1522) by Albrecht Durer

Self-Portrait as the Man of Sorrows - Albrecht Durer - 1522

Artwork Information

TitleSelf-Portrait as the Man of Sorrows
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Self-Portrait as the Man of Sorrows

Albrecht Dürer’s “Self-Portrait as the Man of Sorrows” is an artwork created in 1522 using pencil on paper. This piece is a self-portrait completed during the Northern Renaissance, where the artist depicted himself in the guise of a figure representing suffering, akin to the religious iconography of Jesus as the Man of Sorrows.

The artwork presents a striking image of a bare-chested man, resting his hand on a stone slab, with his other hand raised to his chest. The figure’s expression is one of deep sorrow and introspection, complementing the work’s title. Dürer’s mastery of drawing is evident in the intricate rendering of his hair, beard, and the musculature of his torso, conveying a sense of physical presence and emotional intensity. The details of the hands are also finely detailed, with wrist bindings suggesting a metaphorical or symbolic representation of a sufferer, reflecting the traditional imagery found in depictions of Christ. A monogram of Dürer’s initials “AD” along with the year “1522” are inscribed at the top right, confirming the artist’s authorship and the date of creation. The piece’s somber tonality and the powerful gaze of the subject directly engage the viewer, establishing a solemn connection that is typical of Dürer’s introspective approach to self-portraiture.

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