Albrecht Dürer, the most famous artist of Reformation Germany, was born in Nürnberg on this day in 1471. Renowned as a painter, engraver (possibly the inventor of etching), and author of a host of theoretical aesthetic writings on everything from public monuments to domestic architecture, he has had a profound impact on other artists across the ages. He was a voracious learner, interested in understanding geometry and mathematical proportions, theology proper and practical physics, astronomy and classic literature. These richly diverse interests and his ability to observe nature all contributed to the quality of his work. A champion of the Reformation, Dürer was astonishingly accomplished.
His remarkably detailed etchings are perhaps his best-known works--and for good reason:
But, as wonderful as the etchings are, my own favorites are Dürer's watercolors: