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

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

Artwork Information

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

About St. Paul (Second State)

The artwork “St. Paul (Second State)” is an engraving by Albrecht Dürer, a renowned artist from the Northern Renaissance, dated 1514. As a religious painting, it reflects the period’s interest in biblical subjects and attention to detail. The engraving belongs to a private collection and is not on public display.

The image depicts Saint Paul, easily recognizable by his long beard and balding head, hallmarks of his traditional iconography. He stands in an austere pose, clad in flowing robes that are rendered with meticulous attention to folds and texture, showcasing Dürer’s mastery of the engraving medium. His right hand firmly holds a sword, symbolizing St. Paul’s martyrdom and also representing the “Sword of the Spirit,” which is a metaphor for the word of God as mentioned in the New Testament. The other hand is holding an open book, likely signifying the New Testament or Paul’s epistles, suggesting his role as a great teacher and evangelist.

Radiating around his head is a halo, indicating his sainthood. His stern gaze seems focused, possibly in a divine or contemplative direction. The background includes architectural elements and a distant landscape, which provides a sense of depth and context to the image. Dürer’s signature monogram and the date of the work are inscribed on a block in the foreground, which further authenticates the piece as his creation. This intricate work exemplifies the integration of spirituality, craftsmanship, and the intellectual vigor characteristic of the Northern Renaissance.

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