Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects and Curiosities of Art (Vol. 3 of 3) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 298 pages of information about Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects and Curiosities of Art (Vol. 3 of 3).
prints are never entirely divested of the stiff and formal taste that prevailed at the time, both in his figures and drapery.  Such was his reputation, both at home and abroad, that Marc’ Antonio Raimondi counterfeited his Passion of Christ, and the Life of the Virgin at Venice, and sold them for the genuine works of Durer.  The latter, hearing of the fraud, was so exasperated that he set out for Venice, where he complained to the government of the wrong that had been done him by the plagiarist, but he could obtain no other satisfaction than a decree prohibiting Raimondi from affixing Durer’s monogram or signatures to these copies in future.  Vasari says that when the prints of Durer were first brought into Italy, they incited the painters there to elevate themselves in that branch of art, and to make his works their models.


The fame of Durer spread far and wide in his life-time.  The Emperor Maximillian I. had a great esteem for him, and appointed him his court painter, with a liberal pension, and conferred on him letters of nobility; Charles V., his successor, confirmed him in his office, bestowing upon him at the same time the painter’s coat of arms, viz., three escutcheons, argent, in a deep azure field.  Ferdinand, King of Hungary, also bestowed upon him marked favors and liberality.  Durer was in favor with high and low.  All the artists and learned men of his time honored and loved him, and his early death in 1528 was universally lamented.


Durer always lived in a frugal manner, without the least ostentation for the distinguished favors heaped upon him.  He applied himself to his profession with the most constant and untiring industry, which, together with his great knowledge, great facility of mechanical execution, and a remarkable talent for imitation, enabled him to rise to such distinction, and to exert so powerful an influence on German art for a great length of time.  He was the first artist in Germany who practiced and taught the rules of perspective, and of the proportions of the human figure, according to mathematical principles.  His treatise on proportions is said to have resulted from his studies of his picture of Adam and Eve.  His principal works are De Symmetria partium in rectis formis humanorum corporum, printed at Nuremberg in 1532; and De Verieitate Figurarum, et flexuris partium, et Gestibus Imaginum; 1534.  These works were written in German, and after Durer’s death translated into Latin.  The figures illustrating the subjects were executed by Durer, on wood, in an admirable manner.  Durer had also much merit as a miscellaneous writer, and labored to purify and elevate the German language, in which he was assisted by his friend, W. Pirkheimer.  His works were published in a collected form at Arnheim, in 1603, folio, in Latin and in French.  J. J. Roth wrote a life of Durer, published at Leipsic in 1791.

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