St. Anna (Portrait of Agnes Dürer) (c.1519) by Albrecht Durer

St. Anna (Portrait of Agnes Dürer) - Albrecht Durer - c.1519

Artwork Information

TitleSt. Anna (Portrait of Agnes Dürer)
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationAlbertina, Vienna, Austria

About St. Anna (Portrait of Agnes Dürer)

The artwork titled “St. Anna (Portrait of Agnes Dürer)” was created by the eminent Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer around the year 1519. This portrait, rendered on paper, exemplifies the Northern Renaissance art movement’s attention to detail and imbues a remarkable sense of realism. Currently, the artwork resides in the Albertina museum located in Vienna, Austria.

The subject of the artwork is depicted with attentive detail, capturing the texture of the fabric and the intricacies of the folds in the garments. The figure appears cloaked in a voluminous, draped garment that envelops her, creating a sense of depth and form. Her face is rendered with fine lines, conveying a gentle countenance with soft eyes that seem to reflect a quiet inner world.

While the precise rendering of her garments suggests a tangible realism, the use of chiaroscuro — the stark contrast between light and dark — imparts a sculptural quality to the figure. The meticulous attention to the way in which light falls upon the surfaces creates the illusion of volume and structure within the portrait. The artist’s skill in capturing the play of light and shadow is evident and showcases the technical proficiency that Dürer is renowned for.

As is characteristic of Dürer’s portraiture and consistent with the Northern Renaissance’s proclivity for individualism, the subject’s features are carefully individualized, evoking a sense of the person’s character. This portrait stands not only as a testament to Dürer’s mastery of his medium but also as an intimate exploration of the human condition, a motif that remains a central tenet of portraiture art to this day.

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