Born - May 21, 1471, Nürnberg Germany
Died - April 6, 1528, Nürnberg.

Dürer was a painter and printmaker generally regarded as the greatest German Renaissance artist. He traveled to Italy during his career, and this had a strong effect on him. You can see direct and indirect echoes of Italian art apparent in most of his drawings, paintings, and graphics.

The best example of the effect of the Renaissance spirit in his work is a self-portrait, painted in 1498. Here Dürer sought to convey the aristocratic ideal of the Renaissance. He liked the way he looked as a handsome, well-dressed young man, looking almost conceited. But, instead of the conventional, neutral background, he paints an interior, with a window opening on the right. Through the window you can see a tiny landscape of mountains and a distant sea. This sort of detail is distinctly reminiscent of contemporary Venetian and Florentine paintings. A print of this hangs just above my monitor in a frame which I think he would have approved.

Another of Dürer's greatest paintings, the so-called Four Apostles (St. John, St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Mark), was done toward the end of his life in 1526.