The Penitent (1510) by Albrecht Durer

The Penitent - Albrecht Durer - 1510

Artwork Information

TitleThe Penitent
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationBritish Museum, London, UK

About The Penitent

“The Penitent” is a woodcut artwork created by Albrecht Dürer in 1510. This piece is part of the Northern Renaissance movement and is categorized as a genre painting. The artwork is housed at the British Museum in London, UK.

This woodcut depicts a kneeling figure in a moment of penance or prayer. The penitent is shown with a burdened expression, clutching possibly prayer beads, suggesting a scene of devout religious contemplation. The setting seems to be an interior space, with a portion of architectural elements visible, such as a pillar, a wall with a window, and a tiled floor. A curtain is partially drawn, revealing a lit candle and an intricately designed lantern or tabernacle on a ledge, indicative of a sacred or solemn atmosphere. The attention to detail in the textures of the hair, fabrics, and architectural components demonstrates Dürer’s mastery of woodcut techniques and his ability to convey depth and emotion within the monochromatic constraints of this medium. The scene captures the spiritual intensity and personal devotion characteristic of the Northern Renaissance’s focus on detailed realism and religious themes.

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