The Austrian Saints (1515 – 1517) by Albrecht Durer

The Austrian Saints - Albrecht Durer - 1515 - 1517

Artwork Information

TitleThe Austrian Saints
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1515 - 1517
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationBritish Museum, London, UK

About The Austrian Saints

“The Austrian Saints” is an artwork by Albrecht Dürer, a prominent figure of the Northern Renaissance, created between 1515 and 1517. It is a woodcut that belongs to the genre of religious painting. Currently, this piece is housed in the British Museum located in London, UK.

The woodcut depicts a series of male figures standing in a row, rendered with remarkable attention to detail, which is characteristic of Dürer’s work. Each figure is garbed in ornate clothing and accessories that signify their religious or royal status, such as crowns, halos, and various symbols of sainthood or martyrdom. The intricacies of the clothing patterns, from the fur trim on the robes to the elaborate armor, demonstrate the artist’s skill in creating texture and depth using the woodcut medium.

Below the figures, there are inscriptions that identify each of them, suggesting that they are individual saints associated with Austria. They are holding attributes that signify their identity or the way they achieved martyrdom. The composition is formal, symmetrical, and front-facing, indicating a sense of solemnity and reverence appropriate for the depiction of saints. Each figure stands within its own arched niche, which provides a sense of architectural framing and individual significance for each saint.

This alignment of figures, with inscriptions and detailed expressions, is reflective of the Northern Renaissance’s focus on both religious subject matter and humanistic detail. The artwork, while religious in nature, also demonstrates an emerging interest in the lifelike representation and individual characteristics that would come to define the art of the Renaissance period.

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