cover image Albrecht Durer & His Legacy: The Graphic Work of a Renaissan

Albrecht Durer & His Legacy: The Graphic Work of a Renaissan

Giulia Bartrum. Princeton University Press, $67.5 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-691-11493-4

When Renaissance humanists in the north set out to elevate Germany's reputation in eyes of the cultured world (Germans had long been considered""savage drunkards...responsible for the destruction of ancient Rome""), Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) seemed to be""a natural candidate to represent the visual side of this cultural revival in the north,"" argues German Renaissance scholar Bartrum. Within a few pages, one can see why. Durer's images of animals and angels, as well as his ongoing task of self-portraiture, remain accomplishments of the highest artistic order, at once technically incredible and emotionally deep. This copiously illustrated, exhaustively annotated catalogue for a new show at the British Museum examines the entirety of Durer's career, along with his diverse posthumous legacy in mediums from porcelain to banknotes. Perhaps the most significant artist of the Northern Renaissance (this catalogue is confident of the fact), Durer emerges not only as a master draftsman, printmaker, even watercolorist, but also a charismatic friend and booster of the German arts. 85 color plates, 267 b&w illustrations.