ONLINE ART HISTORY COURSE
“Albrecht Dürer: Leonardo of the North”
When we think about the height of the Renaissance, ca. 1510, three names spring to mind: Leonardo (1452-1519), Michelangelo (1475-1564), and Raphael (1483-1520). All three were Italian, and all three inhabited distinct personalities – Leonardo the esoteric genius, Michelangelo the dynamic rebel, and Raphael the cultivated courtier. To this exalted list we should add the German polymath Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), who combined elements of all three. Dürer was the first to link Northern European and Italian artistic traditions, as he purposefully sought to erase the boundaries between the two.
Dürer produced Some 844 signed prints and paintings (not including five published books), whereas we can only identify perhaps twenty of Leonardo’s creations (some of which were never finished) and about 182 of Michelangelo’s (who also had problems finishing what he started). Raphael tops the Italian triumvirate with around 184. Dürer worked obsessively and traveled widely, crisscrossing Europe. He made two trips to Italy, a place he called “the Arcadia of art.” Dürer was a pioneer in this way, unlike Michelangelo and Raphael, who never left Italy, or Leonardo, who only managed to cross the border to France as an old man. But there is no doubt that all four were certified artistic “geniuses.”
This brief course explores Dürer’s representations of himself, his art, and milieu as revealed in copious letters and diaries. But perhaps most important was Dürer’s fascination with technology, which manifested itself in the new medium of mass communication provided by the printing press. But he also painted, and his self-portraits show him trying on various Renaissance personalities as easily as we would change our clothes. Along the way, we will sample some of the inherent assumptions and traditions surrounding the concept of artistic “genius,” a label to which Dürer aspired. He was also a student of nature, and it is a joy to revel in the beauty and scientific detail of watercolor studies of birds and animals that rival those of Leonardo. We will follow Dürer’s search for knowledge to Italy, where he enriched his artistic style with the study of perspective, human proportion, and light effects.
Albrecht Dürer has earned a place alongside the greatest Italian Renaissance masters, not only for his intellectual curiosity and unsurpassed technique, but also for democratising the ownership of art and enlarging the realm of artistic patronage.
Virtual Classroom: Full access to an online educational platform with videos of recordings, syllabus, and reading list.
Location: LIVE INTERACTIVE ON-LINE ART HISTORY LECTURES
Information will be provided upon registration.
Complete syllabus will be provided upon registration.
- ALL LECTURES WILL BE RECORDED AND AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING AT YOUR CONVENIENCE IN OUR VIDEO LIBRARY FOR TWO WEEKS AFTER THE COURSE HAS ENDED.