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Rest during the flight to Egypt (Life of the Virgin) - Albrecht Durer


Rest during the flight to Egypt (Life of the Virgin) - Albrecht Durer

Rest during the flight to Egypt. Post 1511 woodcut. Measuring 29.4 cm x 20.6. Table extracted from the "Life of the Virgin" by Albrecht Durer, without text on the verso, variant h / k according to the Meder. Impression rather tired with different defects, restored monogram, small lack in the upper left corner, printed on laid paper with watermark nr. 111 of the Meder catalog. Engraved by Albrecht Durer. He was born on 21 May 1471 and is the third of eighteen children, many of whom will be employed in his father's workshop, without excelling like his brother. The artistic qualities of Albrecht are so evident that the father decides to entrust it to the painter Michael Wolgemut, as soon as the boy is fifteen years old: it is one of the most interesting and important painters' workshops in Nuremberg, which takes care of the most important book illustrations printed matter, obtained with the woodcut technique. Engraving techniques enter the artist's life and never abandon him: Dürer in fact considers engraving as a separate art form, and develops and takes care of different and innovative themes, which lead him to be perhaps the best print engraver. At the age of twenty-three he married Agnes Frey, the daughter of a goldsmith, and in these years he found his first influential patron in Frederick of Saxony, known as the Wiseberg's elector, the great elector of Wittenberg, who commissioned him numerous works and surely determined a very fast career. The character perpetually poised between enthusiasm and satisfaction of his own success and dissatisfaction and almost a kind of depression, or at least of existential melancholy, make him rather uneasy, hence the interest in travel, the thirst to know, understand and see. In 1495 he made his first trip to Italy, to get to know the works of the greatest Italian Renaissance artists. In particular, it is almost certain that during the second trip to Italy Dürer met Leonardo da Vinci with whom he shared the vision of man as a harmonious part of nature. On the death of his father, Dürer is in charge of continuing the activity of the goldsmith shop, involving one of the brothers, Hans, the most gifted in the management. In 1509, he bought a house and established himself as a wealthy and affluent artist, as well as a man of considerable culture. The free spirit also leads him to devote himself to unusual and original art forms, such as for example the creation of objects of high goldsmithing, making use of the knowledge learned as a boy in his father's workshop, or the attention to miniature and illustrations of books (in particular those of his humanist friend Wllibald Pirkheimer) and even the design of sculptures and architectural and furnishing details, such as fountains, monuments or chandeliers and frames for his works. During the last few years the German painter, partly embittered and struck by the pressure of violent events (such as the peasant revolt) and the imposing social tensions, abandons painting to devote himself to the creation of educational treatises: he will complete three of them with illustrations and beautiful engravings. He died suddenly on 6 April 1528.

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