Albrecht Durer: A Biography

Jane Campbell Hutchinson, Author Princeton University Press $50 (247p) ISBN 978-0-691-03978-7
Political reactionary, leftist sympathizer, Renaissance polymath, man of action, xenophobe, paragon of virtue--German artist Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) has inspired contradictory images, allowing various political and aesthetic factions to place him within their heritage. In this stolid, workmanlike biography, University of Wisconsin art historian Hutchison dispels all manner of misconceptions surrounding Durer; for example, the ``pseudo-issue'' of whether he was Catholic or Protestant (he was sympathetic to Luther's views but was in no formal sense a Protestant). Instead of the conventionally perceived dour melancholic, Hutchison limns a humanist intellectual who exchanged burlesque poetry with Reformation leader Lazarus Spengler, and an artist anxious over eyesight that began to fail in his late 40s. Reproductions of paintings, woodcuts, engravings and sketches help us appreciate anew Durer's astonishing powers of observation. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-0-691-00297-2
Hardcover - 408 pages - 978-0-8153-2114-9
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