Travelling through Europe with Albrecht Dürer at the National Gallery

As international travel tentatively re-opens amid confusion, the National Gallery is preparing an immersive European travel experience in central London. The first major UK showcase of the artist in almost twenty years, the Credit Suisse Exhibition promises to showcase the major works of Albrecht Dürer. It boasts a cultural, artistic, and intellectual European journey that explores the life and works of the Renaissance artist. Organised in collaboration with the Suermondt-Ludwig Museum in Aachen and displaying the infamous Madonna and Child from the Washington National Gallery of Art – never before shown in the UK – the exhibition promises a truly international experience.

Born in Nuremberg in the 1471, the German painter, printmaker and Renaissance theorist gained initial notoriety for his woodcut prints. Later, however, he extended his scope to include altar artwork, (self-)portraits and watercolours. Of particular interest to him was Italy, where on a trip at the end of the 15th century he met Giovanni Bellini in Venice, a major influence on the infamous Madonna and Child painted between 1496-9. A later trip to the Netherlands also birthed his Portrait of a Young Man. Both of these pieces will be displayed at the National Gallery.

Additional to his paintings, the exhibition unearths letters and prints that track Dürer’s journeying through Europe, including his eclectic encounters through the Alps, Italy, the Netherlands, and Venice to name a few. These cultural artefacts demonstrate how his exchange of cultural and intellectual ideas during his travels gave rise to many artworks and intellectual ideas that remain infamous today. As a driving force of much modern European artistic tradition, this expedition across Europe with Dürer is one you won’t want to miss.

The immersive showcase, therefore, promises to demonstrate what his own epitaph states: “Whatever was mortal in Albrecht Dürer lies beneath this mound.”

The exhibition is free for members and runs 20 November 2021 – 27 February 2022 in the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery. See the website for more information here: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/durers-journeys-travels-of-a-renaissance-artist.

Featured image by Andrew Neel via Pexels.

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