Albrecht Dürer, born May 21, 1471 in Nürnberg, Germany, is considered the greatest and most influential of Northern Renaissance painters and whose many famous works continue to influence contemporary artists nearly 500 years after his death. Dürer’s vast body of work includes altarpieces and religious works, numerous portraits and self-portraits, and copper engravings.Dürer’s travels to Italy and the Netherlands greatly influenced his style. Italian artists such as Antonio Pollaiuolo, Andrea Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini inspired Dürer’s famous copper engravings “Sea Monster”, “Large Horse”, and his great engraving “Adam and Eve”.
The artist’s masterpiece Apocalypse series featured works with more Gothic flavor than his other works. These engravings included Dürer’s “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” and perhaps his greatest work, “Knight, Death and the Devil” (completed in 1514). His other influential series, Great Passion, was completed between 1507-1513.
His style matured beyond his dependency on Italian influences to include “Adoration of the Magi”, “Adoration of the Holy Trinity” and “The Four Apostles”. His religious works drew the admiration of Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian, who hired Dürer to work on prayer books and other projects. Dürer worked primarily for the emperor from 1512-1519. In his later years he became a devoted follower of Martin Luther and his calls for Roman Catholic Church reforms.
Albrecht Dürer died in 1528 and was buried in the churchyard of Johanniskirchhof in Nürnberg