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The ‘Invention’ Of Dürer As A Renaissance Artist

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Chapter Summary

In his essay, Albrecht Drer and Classical Antiquity of 1922, Erwin Panofsky remarks, If ever a great artistic movement can be said to be the work of one individual, the Northern Renaissance was the work of Albrecht Drer . Comments like this by Panofsky, among others, link the Nuremberg master with a label that frames him both chronologically and conceptually. From our modern vantage point, we might argue that labelling Albrecht Durer as a Gothic or Renaissance artist is irrelevant since such terms are used more fluidly now than in the past. The author became intrigued by the major shift in perceptions that occurred in the mid-nineteenth century as Drer went from being the late medieval German artist to one heralded as its Renaissance progenitor. This chapter briefly addresses the issue of labelling from an historiographical perspective.

Keywords: Albrecht Drer; classical antiquity; Erwin Panofsky; late medieval German artist; Renaissance artist



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