Considered by many to be the greatest German artist of all time, Albrecht Dürer was celebrated during his lifetime as a painter, printmaker, and writer. His innovative techniques revolutionized printmaking, and his theoretical writings transformed the study of human proportion. Deeply embedded in a tumultuous era of religious reformation and scientific inquiry, Dürer used his art to reflect the spiritual and social preoccupations of his time. The Strange World of Albrecht Dürer, on view from November 14, 2010, through March 13, 2011, explores how and why Dürer’s visionary imagery remains arresting despite centuries of cultural change.
The Strange World of Albrecht Dürer takes a unique approach to Dürer’s work by organizing his prints in themes that draw parallels to contemporary society: The Apocalypse, Symbolic Space, Battle and Anguish, Gender Anxiety, and Enigma. The Clark’s collection of more than 300 Dürer prints is among the finest in North America. The bulk of the collection was acquired in 1968 from the collection of Tomás Joseph Harris, a scholar, artist, and art dealer who served in the British Intelligence during the Second World War. The seventy-five prints included in the exhibition represent the best of the Clark’s Dürer’s holdings: Hercules (1496), the Apocalypse series (1496–1498), Nemesis (c. 1502), Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513), Melencolia I (1514), and others.
This exhibition was organized by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and is proudly presented by Crane & Co.