Albrecht Dürer: Master of the Black Line

May. 10, 2014Aug. 26, 2014
Huntington Art Gallery, Works on Paper Room

German artist Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) was a virtuoso as a printmaker, invoking comparisons with Apelles, the ancient Greek painter who represented the highest standard of excellence in the Renaissance. Dürer achieved with black lines what Apelles could accomplish only with color.

Many of Dürer’s works appealed to the concept of humanism, an intellectual movement that placed humanity and its achievements on par with religious doctrine. While this manifested itself in an interest in the arts of ancient Greece and Rome, Biblical subjects remained central to the arts of the Renaissance. By creating both religious and secular images, Dürer produced a body of prints with broad appeal, resulting in unrivaled fame during his lifetime.

This exhibition features a selection of 33 of Dürer’s most highly regarded prints, which range from small woodcuts to large and ambitious engravings. Originally created for a sophisticated audience from all corners of Europe, the pieces encompass a spectrum of religious and secular themes in rich and complex ways.