3 Jun 05 – 6 Nov 05
‘It can be said without exaggeration that the history of painting would remain unchanged had Dürer never touched a brush and a palette, but that the first five years of his independent work as an engraver and woodcut designer sufficed to revolutionise the graphic arts.’
Erwin Panofsky, 1943
This exhibition, comprising over 150 engravings, woocuts and printed books, celebrates the art of Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), one of the most brilliant artists of the Renaissance. Like his Italian contemporaries Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, he played a pivotal role in the development of European art. A painter, engraver, draughtsman and theoretician, he lived during a time of profound religious, cultural, intellectual and artistic transformation, spanning the late medieval, Renaissance and Reformation periods. He was a printmaker of genius who brilliantly utilised the then recent and expanding technology of the printing trade, giving the art of printmaking an autonomy and status which it previously did not have.
Albrecht Dürer: Master of the Renaissance is drawn entirely from National Gallery of Victoria’s comprehensive collection of Dürer’s prints, which is among the finest in the world. The selection is drawn primarily from the renowned collection of Sir Thomas Barlow, which the Gallery acquired in 1956. The Barlow collection was one of the most important acquisitions by the Keeper of Prints and Drawings, Dr Ursula Hoff (1909–2005); this exhibition is dedicated to her memory.