The sixteenth century in Europe was a time of unprecedented change. It was the beginning of the modern era, and it saw a revolution in almost every aspect of life. The century opened with the discovery of a new continent


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(b Horb am Neckar, c. 1445-50; d Nuremberg, c. 20 Sept 1533). German sculptor, engraver and painter. He is one of the best-documented and most significant German limewood sculptors of his time. Stoss developed a uniquely expressive and personal style in this material, while also achieving considerable success working in other woods and stone. It is likely that he came from an artistic family as he had at least one brother, Matthias Stoss (b Horb, 1482; d Kraków, 1540), who was a goldsmith, and six of his sons also worked as artists.















Perhaps Dürer's most enigmatic composition, Melencolia I is grouped with his two other "master" engravings of 1513 and 1514, Knight, Death and the Devil, and St. Jerome in His Study, which represent the pinnacle of his engraved art. These prints are noted in technical terms for their achievement of greys and planes of shadow, the result of innumerable fine marks of the burin, an effect that in this case contributes greatly to the somber mood of the subject.

  • Perhaps Dürer's most enigmatic composition, Melencolia I is grouped with his two other "master" engravings of 1513 and 1514, Knight, Death and the Devil, and St. Jerome in His Study, which represent the pinnacle of his engraved art. These prints are noted in technical terms for their achievement of greys and planes of shadow, the result of innumerable fine marks of the burin, an effect that in this case contributes greatly to the somber mood of the subject.



Dürer presents the personification of Melancholy surrounded by a collection of tools for creative and intellectual pursuits such as goldsmithing (the crucible and scales), geometry (the polyhedron and sphere), and woodworking (the plane, ruler, and saw). Most important are the dividers she holds, placed at the very center of the composition; this instrument, used by geometricians and architects, symbolizes the ultimate creative act--God's shaping of the world.

  • Dürer presents the personification of Melancholy surrounded by a collection of tools for creative and intellectual pursuits such as goldsmithing (the crucible and scales), geometry (the polyhedron and sphere), and woodworking (the plane, ruler, and saw). Most important are the dividers she holds, placed at the very center of the composition; this instrument, used by geometricians and architects, symbolizes the ultimate creative act--God's shaping of the world.

















Altdorfer became a citizen of Regensburg in 1505, and later the Surveyor of the city's buildings. The steeply wooded stretch of the Danube below the city, with the castle of Worth, appears in several Altdorfer paintings.

  • Altdorfer became a citizen of Regensburg in 1505, and later the Surveyor of the city's buildings. The steeply wooded stretch of the Danube below the city, with the castle of Worth, appears in several Altdorfer paintings.

  • Albrecht Altdorfer, like his fellow German Lucas Cranach the Elder, was a stay-at-home. He may well have some of the topographical watercolors that Dürer brought home with him after his roamings across the Alps. After Altdorfer's own trips along the river Danube, landscape was to become his passion. Altdorfer's landscapes are of peculiarly Germanic character, bristling with wild forests and lonely, wolf-infested glades. They are fearsome, though magnificent, and they even contain the hint of irrationality overcoming sobriety. Altdorfer does maintain control, but we feel the threat.





Jean Clouet, on moving to France, rose to the position of a court painter to King Francis I. The works attributed to him show an undeniably Netherlandish influence, particularly in the rendering of detail.         While not a single signed or reliably authenticated work exists, a great number of drawings survived, probably from the period  of 1515–1540, which gives an insight into his artistic temperament and stylistic development. These drawings formed the basis of the attribution of paintings.         It is a fact that Clouet was an accomplished, sought-after portraitist. His works appeal on account of their elegance and quality of portrayal. Perhaps the most famous of his works is Portrait of Francis I. Clouet’s authorship of the portrait is relatively certain, particularly in view of the close links which he enjoyed with the French court. He probably painted several other portraits of  the French royal family

  • Jean Clouet, on moving to France, rose to the position of a court painter to King Francis I. The works attributed to him show an undeniably Netherlandish influence, particularly in the rendering of detail.         While not a single signed or reliably authenticated work exists, a great number of drawings survived, probably from the period  of 1515–1540, which gives an insight into his artistic temperament and stylistic development. These drawings formed the basis of the attribution of paintings.         It is a fact that Clouet was an accomplished, sought-after portraitist. His works appeal on account of their elegance and quality of portrayal. Perhaps the most famous of his works is Portrait of Francis I. Clouet’s authorship of the portrait is relatively certain, particularly in view of the close links which he enjoyed with the French court. He probably painted several other portraits of  the French royal family











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