Albrecht Dürer, ‘St Anthony’, 1519, Royal Collection Trust

This small print shows St Anthony seated on the ground, stooping forwards to read a little book. His pilgrim’s hat lies to his left, and his symbols, a cross and a bell, are placed to his right. A looming landscape in the background echoes the saint’s pose. The scene is one of calm concentration - even the water of the river by which Anthony sits is still - and Dürer has captured the saint’s absorption by suggesting that he is absent-mindedly flexing his toes as he reads.

Image rights: Royal Collection Trust / © HM Queen Elizabeth II 2012

'The Northern Renaissance: Dürer to Holbein'
Kate Heard and Lucy Whitaker
ISBN 978 1 905686 32 2

About Albrecht Dürer

Considered one of the foremost artists of the Renaissance period, Albrecht Dürer’s extensive work in printmaking transformed the categorization of the medium from craft to fine art. Often depicting religious subjects, Dürer’s woodcuts and engravings demonstrated unprecedented technical skill, tonal variation, and compositional sophistication. Dürer theorized extensively on linear perspective and anatomical proportion, concerns that were articulated in a vast body of written work as well as in his paintings and prints. Dürer’s skill earned him the role of court artist for Holy Roman Emperors Maximilian I and Charles V, under whom he created a number of paintings and altarpieces. Dürer’s series of self-portraits, created throughout his career, represent some of his most iconic works.

German, 1471-1528, Nuremberg, Germany, based in Nuremberg, Germany