St. Paul (First State) (1514) by Albrecht Durer

St. Paul (First State) - Albrecht Durer - 1514

Artwork Information

TitleSt. Paul (First State)
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About St. Paul (First State)

“St. Paul (First State)” is an engraving created by Albrecht Dürer in 1514, a prominent artist from the Northern Renaissance. This religious-themed artwork aligns with the techniques and interests of that time, focusing on biblical figures and themes. The medium of the artwork is engraving, which was a common and highly respected form of artistic expression during the Renaissance. Currently, it is housed in a private collection.

In this detailed engraving, the figure of Saint Paul is depicted with a strong sense of gravitas and personality. He stands with a halo around his head, highlighting his saintly status. In his left hand, he holds a large, prominently featured sword pointing downwards—symbolic of Paul’s martyrdom and often considered emblematic of the word of God, being a “double-edged sword”. In his right hand, he is holding an open book, which may symbolize the epistles he wrote or the New Testament scriptures. His intense gaze and the detailed, flowing beard add to the sense of wisdom and authority manifested by this revered apostle. The attention to detail in the drapery of his clothing and the textures throughout the artwork reflect the high level of skill and the intricate technique that Dürer was renowned for. The date “1514” and Dürer’s monogram are visible in the lower right, adding a signature and a timestamp to this masterfully executed piece.

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