The Martyrdom of St John the Evangelist (1497 – 1498) by Albrecht Durer

The Martyrdom of St John the Evangelist - Albrecht Durer - 1497 - 1498

Artwork Information

TitleThe Martyrdom of St John the Evangelist
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1497 - 1498
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationStaatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

About The Martyrdom of St John the Evangelist

“The Martyrdom of St John the Evangelist” is an artwork by Albrecht Durer, dated between 1497 and 1498. It was created during the Northern Renaissance and belongs to the religious painting genre. This piece is part of Durer’s “Apocalypse” series and is currently located at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The artwork depicts a dramatic scene with Saint John the Evangelist at the center, identified by his traditional iconography. He is being placed in a vat of boiling oil as a form of martyrdom. Around him, the scene is bustling with activity and a multitude of characters, each rendered with remarkable detail. The tension and movement in the scene are palpable, with various onlookers, executioners, and soldiers engaged in different interactions.

Design elements such as deep perspective lines, fine hatchings, and meticulous architectural details contribute to the complexity of the engraving. Durer’s skill in composition and his ability to convey texture, emotion, and narrative truly shine in this work. The woodcut’s dense layers of detail and expressive characters exemplify the Northern Renaissance’s focus on precision and craftsmanship, as well as its enduring interest in biblical themes and human response to divine events.

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