St. Agnes by Albrecht Durer

St. Agnes - Albrecht Durer -

Artwork Information

TitleSt. Agnes
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About St. Agnes

“St. Agnes” is a religious artwork by Albrecht Dürer, dating from the Northern Renaissance period. Dürer, renowned for his detailed engravings and paintings, often incorporated religious themes into his work.

In this particular piece, the figure of St. Agnes is depicted with a serene and gentle countenance. She is adorned with a crown and a radiant halo, symbolizing her sainthood and celestial virtue. The crown is intricately detailed, indicative of the Northern Renaissance’s emphasis on realism and attention to detail. St. Agnes holds a palm branch in her right hand, which is a traditional symbol of martyrdom, signifying her ultimate sacrifice for her faith. To her left, a lamb lies at her feet, which is a representation of her purity and a symbol commonly associated with the saint, referencing her name ‘Agnus’ which resembles the Latin word for lamb (“agnus”).

The drawing showcases Dürer’s expertise in capturing fine details and textures, particularly evident in the drapery of her attire and the delicate lines used to create the effect of light radiating from her halo. The expression on her face is composed and dignified, fitting for a saintly figure. In the background, there’s an angelic figure, further emphasizing the heavenly association with St. Agnes. The monogram “AD” can be seen at the bottom left of the sketch, marking it as an authentic piece by Albrecht Dürer. The remarkable finesse in lines and the subtle gradation of shadows and highlights are characteristic of Dürer’s skilled hand and the artistic advancements of the Northern Renaissance.

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