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Albrecht Durer Gallery

Albrecht Durer

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Alchemy Featured Albrecht Durer Print

Alchemy

Alchemy. Historical artwork by the German artist Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) titled Melencolia I. It represents one of the four temperaments or humours, and it is thought that its title (ending in I) implies that Durer intended to draw the other three. Many of the artifacts seen, such as the mathematical "magic" square (upper right), balance (upper centre) and geometric shapes (far & lower left) are associated with alchemy. Alchemy was the pseudo-scientific predecessor to chemistry, which among other ideas is best known for its practitioners hunt for the Philosopher's Stone, which would impart eternal life and the ability to turn base metals into gold

© SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Melencolia I, 1514. Creator: Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528) Featured Albrecht Durer Print

Melencolia I, 1514. Creator: Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528)

Melencolia I, 1514. Although the title indentifies the subject as melancholy, the means by which Durer demonstrates this emotional state is complex, making Melencolia I the most analyzed and discussed of Durer's works. Durer personifies melancholy as a formidable female--her power originates in her ability to alter a man's temperament into a melancholic state. Immobilized by her lack of creativity, the winged goddess sits dispiritedly surrounded by the tools and instruments she has lost the inspiration to use. Among intellectuals, melancholy was often associated with introspective, educated people, even genius. Because artists were especially prone to melancholy, this image has been interpreted as Durer's spiritual self-portrait, implying that the artist identified with her creative plight

© Heritage Art/Heritage Images

Albrecht Durer ((1471 A?i? 1528) was a German painter. Nort Featured Albrecht Durer Print

Albrecht Durer ((1471 A?i? 1528) was a German painter. Nort

Albrecht Durer ((1471 A?i? 1528) was a German painter. Northern Renaissance. The Four Apostles. It was finished in 1526. Saint John and Peter (Left panel). Saints Mark and Paul (Right panel). St. John Evangelisth: open de book. St. Peter: Keys. St. Marck: scroll. St Paul: sword and closed de book. Alte Pinakothek. Munich. Germany

© Thaliastock / Mary Evans