St. Margaret (1486 – 1499) by Albrecht Durer

St. Margaret - Albrecht Durer - 1486 - 1499

Artwork Information

TitleSt. Margaret
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1486 - 1499
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationMuseum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands

About St. Margaret

“St. Margaret” is a religious painting by Albrecht Dürer, a master of the Northern Renaissance, dating from between 1486 and 1499. The artwork is part of the collection at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, located in Rotterdam, Netherlands. As a notable example of the Northern Renaissance style, this piece combines detailed realism with religious symbolism.

The artwork presents St. Margaret, a Christian martyr recognized for her faith and purity. She is depicted standing, exuding an aura of grace and sanctity. Her long hair flows freely, which along with her crown, symbolizes her nobility and purity. She is draped in flowing robes, suggesting her status as a revered figure in the Christian faith. In her right hand, she holds a cross-topped staff, which often symbolizes her shepherdess background and her piousness. Beneath her feet, St. Margaret triumphantly stands over a dragon, which is a common motif representing her victory over the devil. The dragon’s open jaws and the manner in which St. Margaret presses down on it with her foot underscore the theme of good prevailing over evil.

Dürer’s rendering of St. Margaret is intricate and delicate, showcasing his skill in capturing both the human form and the elaborate textures of her attire and the dragon’s scales. The background is sketchy, providing contrast and drawing attention to the foreground characters in the image. The piece is rich in religious context, capturing the values of the time while also exemplifying Dürer’s exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail characteristic of the Northern Renaissance.

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