Three children’s heads (1506) by Albrecht Durer

Three children's heads - Albrecht Durer - 1506

Artwork Information

TitleThree children's heads
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Three children's heads

The artwork “Three children’s heads” was created by Albrecht Dürer in 1506, as part of the Northern Renaissance art movement. It is a portrait genre piece that features detailed depictions of the heads of three children.

The artwork shows three young children’s heads close together as if they are emerging from clouds. Each child’s head is turned in a different direction, providing various angles of view. The level of detail Dürer achieved is remarkable, with delicate shading and thoughtful expressions captured on each child’s face. The leftmost child appears to gaze off to the side with a slightly furrowed brow, while the center child looks upwards with a relaxed expression, their mouth slightly open. The third child, on the right, has their head tilted back and eyes closed as though they might be sleeping or in a state of peaceful rest. Dürer’s signature and the artwork’s date are visible within the body of clouds between the center and rightmost child. Through precise lines and careful shadowing, Dürer captures the softness of the children’s features and hair, which adds to the gentle, almost ethereal quality of the drawing. The background is a stark contrast, dark and plain, serving to elevate the subjects into prominence.

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