The Four Apostles, right panel – St. Mark and St. Paul (1526) by Albrecht Durer

The Four Apostles, right panel - St. Mark and St. Paul - Albrecht Durer - 1526

Artwork Information

TitleThe Four Apostles, right panel - St. Mark and St. Paul
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationAlte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany

About The Four Apostles, right panel - St. Mark and St. Paul

“The Four Apostles, right panel – St. Mark and St. Paul” is a painting by Albrecht Dürer, completed in 1526. The piece is executed in oil on panel and showcases Dürer’s mastery as a Northern Renaissance artist. The genre of the painting is religious, and it currently resides in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, Germany.

The painting features two figures that are identified as the apostles Mark and Paul. St. Paul is depicted holding a sword in his left hand and a book in his right, dominating the composition as the foremost figure. He is an older man with a bald head and a long beard, clothed in a flowing robe that reflects sophisticated use of light and shadow to create depth and volume. His expression is contemplative and serious.

Behind Paul and slightly to the side stands St. Mark. Only part of his figure is visible; he appears behind Paul, adding depth to the scene. Mark has a full head of curly hair and a beard, and he gazes directly out of the painting with an intent look. The detail of his facial features and his vivid expression suggest he is engaged in thought or dialogue.

The background is dark, serving to accentuate the figures and give the impression that they stand at the forefront of spiritual and intellectual enlightenment against the darkness of ignorance. At the bottom of the panel is what seems to be a script, likely containing a relevant inscription that adds context and meaning to the work. The painting’s precise details, from the drapery of the garments to the facial expressions and the rendering of the hands, all demonstrate Dürer’s skill as a master of the Northern Renaissance, dedicated to the meticulous depiction of his subjects.

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