St Sebald in the Niche (1518 – 1520) by Albrecht Durer

St Sebald in the Niche - Albrecht Durer - 1518 - 1520

Artwork Information

TitleSt Sebald in the Niche
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1518 - 1520
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationAlbertina, Vienna, Austria

About St Sebald in the Niche

The artwork titled “St Sebald in the Niche” is a woodcut created by the artist Albrecht Dürer between 1518 and 1520. Originating from the Northern Renaissance art movement, this religious painting represents a deep devotion to Christian themes. Currently, the woodcut is housed at the Albertina museum in Vienna, Austria.

In this woodcut, we see a detailed depiction of St. Sebald, standing in a niche that has the ornate architectural feel characteristic of the Renaissance period. The saint is depicted with a halo around his head, indicating his holy status. He is dressed in garments that suggest a religious or ecclesiastical role, complete with a long, flowing beard that imparts a sense of wisdom and age.

St. Sebald is holding what appears to be a model of a church, signifying his connection to the church and perhaps his role in its foundation or protection. The background features finely detailed Gothic architecture, adding a sense of depth and context to the figure of the saint. The use of light and shadow achieved through the woodcut technique adds dimensionality to the artwork. Surrounding the central figure are intricate decorations, such as a crest and draped fabric, as well as columns on either side, enhancing the sacred and grand atmosphere.

The artist’s attention to detail is evident in the texture of the saint’s garments, the facial expression, and the overall composition, which highlights the saint’s significance and virtue. The combination of architectural elements, the saint’s pose, and the objects he is associated with, all work together to convey a narrative about the holy figure’s life and importance within the Christian tradition.

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