Study sheet with Mary and Child (c.1520 – c.1525) by Albrecht Durer

Study sheet with Mary and Child - Albrecht Durer - c.1520 - c.1525

Artwork Information

TitleStudy sheet with Mary and Child
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Datec.1520 - c.1525
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationStadelsches Kunstinstitut und Stadtische Galerie (Stadel), Frankfurt am Main, Germany

About Study sheet with Mary and Child

“Study sheet with Mary and Child” is a sketch by Albrecht Dürer, created between approximately 1520 and 1525, during the Northern Renaissance period. The sketch serves as a study piece and features the figures of Mary and Child, traditional subjects in Christian art. The original artwork is part of the collection at the Städel Museum, officially known as the Städel Art Institute and Municipal Gallery, located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

The artwork depicts the Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child. Mary is seated, and her gaze is directed downward toward the Child, who is cradled in her arms. The lines are confidently drawn, with varying pressure indicating the artist’s skill in creating texture and depth. There is a fluidity and gentleness to the figures’ posture, and details such as the drapery of Mary’s garments are suggested with energetic hatch marks and lines. The sketch likely served as a preparatory study for a more finished painting or print.

Dürer’s mastery in rendering the human form and his attention to detail are evident, even in the sketch form, and reflect the Northern Renaissance’s emphasis on realism and close observation of nature and human anatomy. The piece carries the distinct signature of Dürer’s style, combining Gothic traditions with a more lifelike representation that characterized Renaissance advancements.

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