Self-portrait (1493) is a painting by Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. It is believed to be the earliest self-portrait painted by a Northern artist and was completed when Dürer was only 22 years old. The painting features an arresting directness, capturing the viewer’s attention with its simple composition and naturalistic style.
In the self-portrait, Dürer is shown holding a thistle, symbolizing his homeland of Nuremberg. The head and hand in the painting were preparatory for his later Self-Portrait of 1493, which is considered one of his greatest works. The portrait displays a more mature artist than his earlier self-portraits and demonstrates his skills in portraying human expression.
Throughout his career, Dürer created numerous portraits and self-portraits that reflect both himself as an individual and the larger cultural context of Renaissance art. He became known as one of Germany’s greatest artists during this period, with works encompassing everything from traditional religious paintings to engravings and woodcuts.
Overall, Albrecht Dürer’s Self-Portrait (1493) remains an important piece in art history due to its historical significance as well as its qualities as a work of portraiture. Its naturalistic style and arresting presence demonstrate Dürer’s skill at capturing both human likeness and personality on canvas.