The Seven Sorrows (1500) by Albrecht Durer

The Seven Sorrows - Albrecht Durer - 1500

Artwork Information

TitleThe Seven Sorrows
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Dimensions109 x 43 cm
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationAlte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany

About The Seven Sorrows

The artwork “The Seven Sorrows” by Albrecht Dürer, created in 1500, is a representation of the Northern Renaissance art movement. This religious painting is part of “The Seven Sorrows of Mary” series and measures 109 x 43 cm. The original work is housed at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, Germany.

In Dürer’s “The Seven Sorrows,” the central panel focuses on a figure of the Virgin Mary, cloaked in a dark robe with a white head covering, her hands clasped in prayer and her eyes cast downward, symbolizing her sorrow. This central image of Mary is flanked by six smaller panels, each depicting a scene from the biblical narrative that corresponds to the traditional seven sorrows which reflect key moments of pain and suffering in her life. These moments include the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the loss of Jesus in the temple, meeting Jesus carrying the cross, the crucifixion, the removal of Jesus’ body from the cross, and finally, the burial of Jesus.

Each panel is rich in detail, full of emotive figures, and contains a narrative depth characteristic of Dürer’s work and the Northern Renaissance. The use of color, attention to texture, and the portrayal of human emotion all serve to draw the viewer into the religious experience depicted within the scenes. The layout with these multiple scenes around the central depiction of Mary creates a visual narrative that captures the intensity of her grief and devotion.

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