The Sorrows (c.1494 – 1497) by Albrecht Durer

The Sorrows - Albrecht Durer - c.1494 - 1497

Artwork Information

TitleThe Sorrows
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Datec.1494 - 1497
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About The Sorrows

“The Sorrows” is a religious painting by the Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer, dating from around 1494 to 1497. The artwork was done using oil on panel and belongs to “The Seven Sorrows of Mary” series. Its genre reflects the spiritual and introspective focus characteristic of the Northern Renaissance.

The painting depicts Mary, the mother of Jesus, in a state of contemplation or sorrow. Her hands are delicately positioned near her chest, in a typically pious pose that suggests prayer or mourning. Mary is shown wearing a dark blue robe with intricate folds that convey a sense of depth and movement, which is contrasted with a lighter draped garment over her head and shoulders. Her facial expression—gazing slightly away from the viewer—exudes a quiet solemnity and reflects the emotional gravity of the subject, which concerns the seven sorrows she endured according to Christian tradition. The halo behind her head signifies her sanctity, and her overall portrayal is sympathetic, aiming to evoke empathy from the viewer for her sufferings. The subtle modeling of her face and the detailed rendering of her wavy hair showcase Dürer’s skillful use of oil paint to achieve realistic textures and forms.

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