Treatise on Measurement (1525) by Albrecht Durer

Treatise on Measurement - Albrecht Durer - 1525

Artwork Information

TitleTreatise on Measurement
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art (Met), New York City, NY, US

About Treatise on Measurement

The artwork “Treatise on Measurement” by Albrecht Dürer, created in 1525, embodies a hallmark of the Northern Renaissance art movement. This piece is characterized as a sketch and study within the series “Instruction in measurement with compass and ruler, in lines, planes, and whole bodies.” It is housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, NY, US.

The featured image appears to be a page from Dürer’s instructional manual, potentially depicting the use of a compass and ruler for the precise measurement and construction of geometric shapes. The top half of the page is dominated by Gothic-script text in German, indicative of the time period and region. The bottom half of the page showcases a diagrammatic illustration, likely representing an architectural design or a geometric exercise. Prominent in the visual center of this illustration is a pointed arch, also referred to as a Gothic arch, which was a common element in the architecture of the time. The diagram includes a series of lines radiating at different angles from a single point located at the base of the arch, connecting to various points along its curve, potentially to demonstrate methods of proportionality and measurement. These graphic elements are annotated with letters and numbers, hinting at their role in Dürer’s didactic exposition. The page combines both artistic qualities and mathematical precision, exemplifying Dürer’s expertise in and contribution to the understanding of geometry and proportion in art.

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