I have had a thing for the German artist Albrecht Dürer ever since I took a German history class in college and for some reason, became enamored with him. It was one of the first classes that I remember being really passionate about. I wrote a paper about Dürer for that class that my history professor loved and he actually had it published in some obscure history journal. So when a new exhibit of Dürer's works from the Albertina in Vienna came to the National Gallery (it opened last weekend), I was pretty excited to see it. So on Sunday morning Walt and I went downtown to the National Gallery and first listened to a lecture about Dürer by one of the museum's curators of prints and drawings, and then took a leisurely walk around the exhibit. Dürer was best known for his woodcuts and engravings, as well as his watercolors and realistic drawings of animals, birds, flowers, and grasses. His focus on nature and his observation of the world around him is what really draws me to his work.
I couldn't take pictures inside the exhibit, so I have copied images of some of his most famous works. I have always loved this watercolor of cowslips (primroses).
|Tuft of Cowslip, 1526|
Probably his most recognizable work is Praying Hands, a drawing done in pen and ink, with a technique called chiaroscuro.
|Praying Hands, pen and ink, 1509|
|Great Piece of Turf, 1503|
I was so excited to see and think about Dürer again that, when I got home, I went down to my basement and look what I found in an old box of college stuff. Believe me, I didn't keep all my papers from college, but I did keep this one because it meant a lot to me. Who knew I would reconnect with Albrecht Dürer, 40 years later!!