Study sheet with the attacked animals by Albrecht Durer

Study sheet with the attacked animals - Albrecht Durer -

Artwork Information

TitleStudy sheet with the attacked animals
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Study sheet with the attacked animals

The artwork “Study sheet with the attacked animals” is by Albrecht Dürer, a seminal figure of the Northern Renaissance. As a genre, this artwork falls into the category of sketch and study. It exemplifies Dürer’s skill in rendering dynamic scenes and his interest in the natural world, as well as the meticulous attention to detail that is characteristic of the Northern Renaissance.

In the artwork, there are several scenes of animals engaged in combat. At the top, a lion attacks a horse, its claws digging into the horse’s back as the horse rears up in an attempt to shake off its assailant. Below this scene, to the left, two grotesque creatures—one resembling a dragon—appear to be entangled in a fight. In the center, another lion is depicted biting the neck of a bull, while one bull seems to be coming to the aid of the other, its head lowered aggressively. On the right side, you can see another lion, this time attacking a creature from behind. The fierceness of the lions and the evident terror or aggression of their prey adds a sense of movement and drama to the sketch.

Dürer’s use of line is fluid yet precise, capturing the anatomy and the fur of the animals with remarkable accuracy. This study may have been intended to explore animal anatomy and movement, or possibly as preparatory work for a larger, more complex piece. The various poses also demonstrate Dürer’s understanding of how to portray tension and action within a scene, a knowledge that demonstrates his expertise not just as a painter but as a master draftsman.

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