Self-Portrait at 26 is an oil painting by Albrecht Dürer, painted on wood panel in 1498. The artwork portrays Dürer indoors, standing with half-length, representing himself as an artist deserving of more elevated social status. The painting is the second of his three self-portraits, and it signifies the ideal of Imitatio Christi, which aims to imitate and follow the Christ.
Dürer’s self-portrait is a remarkable example of Renaissance art. The painting’s composition is balanced, and the use of light and shade creates a three-dimensional effect that sets his face and upper body apart from the background. In the artwork, Dürer turned his head slightly towards the viewer, indicating his skillful sense of observation and detail. The painting’s symbolism also tells a story, with Dürer’s black attire and serious expression symbolizing his intellectual and moralistic character.
Self-Portrait at 26 is not just a typical self-portrait; it is an artwork of utmost importance to the appreciation and study of Renaissance art. It is a magnificent example of technical skill, artistic expression, and symbolism that characterizes Dürer’s work. The painting is truly a Renaissance masterpiece that remains a highlight in the art history of the period.