Works of a Renaissance Master: The Prints of Albrecht Dürer
Post #1230 • September 16, 2008, 11:11 AM • 35 Comments
Edmonton, AB - Albrecht Dürer's superpowers as a draughtsman are in evidence throughout his work, but prints, in particular, preserved his prodigious ability to translate imagination into two dimensions. Works of a Renaissance Master: The Prints of Albrecht Dürer is a fortunate and enjoyable opportunity to witness his printmaking in action. The exhibition lavishes particular attention on Melancholia, carefully going over symbolism in the original engraving with a legend marked on a copy enlarged to the size of a display window. It degrades hardly at all thanks to Dürer's skill with the tools. He could depict a whole hill-town, down to the turrets, on two square inches of paper. A sense of the Medieval never fully departed the work of the Northern Renaissance, and that, coupled with the artist's millimeter-by-millimeter craftsmanship, ends up making the woodcuts a bit noisy. But the engravings, especially the famed Adam and Eve, are technically superlative, and crowded with little jewels of artistic flourish and intriguing images. Saints fly, animals lurk, haloed human limbs proclaim the Revelations, and nude embodiments of various virtues walk astride clouds.
Something of a de facto futures market formed at the front desk of the AGA. I was kindly offered, twice, a free poster for Face the Nation, also showing at the museum. I declined, but inquired about one for the Dürer show. That one was $3. It now graces the RV, where I can reflect on Dürer's mastery and the qualities that inspire one to value a thing.