Studies on the Proportions of the Female Body (1528) by Albrecht Durer

Studies on the Proportions of the Female Body - Albrecht Durer - 1528

Artwork Information

TitleStudies on the Proportions of the Female Body
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Studies on the Proportions of the Female Body

The artwork “Studies on the Proportions of the Female Body” is by Albrecht Dürer, a key figure of the Northern Renaissance. It dates back to 1528 and is executed as a woodcut, which was a common printmaking technique at the time. This piece falls under the genre of sketch and study and is part of Dürer’s broader work titled “Four Books of Human Proportion.” Reflecting the intellectual curiosity and empirical study characteristic of the Renaissance, Dürer’s work showcases the detailed exploration of human anatomy and the precision of measurement.

In the woodcut, a standing female figure is outlined with numerous lines and annotations intersecting her body. Each segment of the body is carefully measured, and proportionate relationships are inscribed near each division, suggesting how each part relates to others according to Dürer’s understanding of geometry and proportion. The inscriptions and notes are in old German script, indicative of the period and place of origin. The work is didactic, meant to educate and convey the ideal proportions of the human form as conceived during the Renaissance. This image signifies a blend of artistic practice with scientific inquiry, capturing the essence of Renaissance humanism where art and a rekindled interest in classical knowledge went hand in hand.

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