Albrecht Dürer

12 Nov, 2020 700 Arts

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the great German artist Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) who achieved fame throughout Europe for the power of his images. These range from his woodcut of a rhinoceros, to his watercolour of a young hare, to his drawing of praying hands and his stunning self-portraits such as that above (albeit here in a later monochrome reproduction) with his distinctive A D monogram. He was expected to follow his father and become a goldsmith, but found his own way to be a great artist, taking public commissions that built his reputation but did not pay, while creating a market for his prints, and he captured the timeless and the new in a world of great change.

Play on BBC Sounds website


  • Susan Foister 4 episodes
    Deputy Director and Curator of German Paintings at the National Gallery
  • Giulia Bartrum No other episodes
    Freelance art historian and Former Curator of German Prints and Drawings at the British Museum
  • Ulinka Rublack 3 episodes
    Professor of Early Modern European History and Fellow of St John's College, University of Cambridge

Reading list

  • Albrecht Durer: Documentary Biography, 2 vols
    Jeffrey Ashcroft (Yale University Press, 2017) Google Books →
  • Albrecht Durer and his Legacy: The Graphic Work of a Renaissance Artist
    Giulia Bartrum and others (The British Museum Press, 2002) Google Books →
  • The Young Durer: Drawing the Figure
    Stephanie Buck, Stephanie Porras, D. Freedberg and Michael Roth (eds.) (Paul Holberton Publishing, 2013) Google Books →
  • Albrecht Durer: A Biography
    Jane Campbell Hutchison (Princeton University Press, 1990) Google Books →
  • Durer
    Jeffrey Chipps Smith (Phaidon, 2012) Google Books →
  • The Moment of Self-Portraiture in German Renaissance Art
    Joseph Leo Koerner (University of Chicago Press, 1993) Google Books →
  • Perfection's Therapy: An Essay on Albrecht Durer's Melencolia I
    Mitchell B. Merback (Princeton University Press, 2018) Google Books →
  • Albrecht Durer
    Christof Metzger (ed.) (Prestel, 2019) Google Books →
  • The Life and Art of Albrecht Durer
    Erwin Panofsky, vol. 1 (Princeton University Press, 4th edition, 1955) Google Books →
  • The Life and Art of Albrecht Durer
    Erwin Panofsky, vol.2 (Princeton University Press, 2nd edition, 1945) Google Books →
  • Dressing Up: Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe
    Ulinka Rublack (Oxford University Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • The Complete Drawings of Albrecht Durer
    Walter L. Strauss (ed.) (Abaris Books Inc, 1974, 6 vols) Google Books →

Related episodes

Programme ID: m000p8cb

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Auto-category: 700 (Arts & Recreation)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, Albrecht Dürer, 1471 to 1528, achieved international fame through the power of his mesmerising, meticulous images, and those images have never lost their power.