Exhibition Shows Influence of Renaissance Artist Albrecht Dürer
A National Gallery of Scotland exhibition, opening this Thursday, looks at the enduring influence of 16th century German artist Albrecht Dürer.
Dürer’s Fame will showcase around 30 prints, drawings, and paintings from the Galleries’ collection, together with contemporary and later copies of his work. These objects will be augmented by a selection of illicit imitations and surprising tributes, including a 21st century tattoo.
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) was the most important artist of the Northern Renaissance and is one of the most celebrated artists of all time. He excelled as a painter and draughtsman, but it was his skill as a printmaker that spread his fame across Europe.
The printmaking process allowed for multiple copies of his work to be produced which could easily be sold and distributed. This accessibility, combined with his technical brilliance and highly individual style, made him a much admired and imitated artist.
The display will include many of Dürer’s famous prints, most of which have not been shown in Edinburgh since 1971, like his iconic Melancholy, Saint Jerome in his Study and Knight, Death and the Devil.
The exhibition also aims to show the artist's influence on later generations of artists, with displays of Italian and Netherlandish artists alongside the original works. This will include Marcantonio Raimondi’s The Circumcision of Christ (from The Life of the Virgin) and Johan Wierix’s Melencolia of 1602.
In addition this exhibition will include works by the Scottish artists John Runciman (1744-1768/69) and William Bell Scott (1811-1890), whose response to Dürer’s art is less well known. John Runciman’s painting, Christ taking leave of his Mother, was inspired by Dürer’s woodcut of the same subject. Whilst Scott’s painting, of 1854, imagines Dürer seeking inspiration on the balcony of his house in Nuremberg, highlighting his romanticized reputation in the 19th century.
The exhibition charts Dürer’s influence up to the 21st century with an example of work from an installation which filled a Nuremberg square with 7,000 plastic hares in 2003, and a poster of German handball star Pascal Hens sporting a tattoo based on Dürer’s Study of Praying Hands.
The exhibition runs 9 June - 11 October