People of Germany: Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) was a painter, printmaker, and theorist of the German Renaissance. Born in Nürnberg, Dürer established his reputation and influence across Europe when he was still in his 20’s, due to his high-quality woodcut prints. He was in communication with the major Italian artists of his time, including Raphael, Giovanni Bellini, and Leonardo da Vinci, and from 1512 he was patronized by emperor Maximilian I.
His vast body of work includes engravings, altarpieces, portraits, and self-portraits, watercolors, and books. The woodcuts, such as the Apocalypse series (1498), retain a more Gothic flavor than the rest of his work. His well-known engravings include the Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513), Saint Jerome in his Study (1514) and Melencolia I (1514), which has been the subject of extensive analysis and interpretation. His watercolors also mark him as one of the first European landscape artists, while his ambitious woodcuts revolutionized the potential of that medium. His introduction of classical motifs into Northern art, through his knowledge of Italian artists and German humanists, has secured his reputation as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance. This is reinforced by his theoretical treatises, which involve principles of mathematics, perspective, and ideal proportions.