Son of man. Engraving by Albrecht Durer

Son of man. Engraving by Albrecht Durer

Durer did not have a large workshop with many students. His trustworthy students are unknown. Presumably associated with him primarily three Nuremberg artists – the brothers Hans Zebald and Barthel Beham and Georg Pentz, known mainly as masters of small-format engraving.

It is interesting to mention that in 1525 all three young masters were brought to justice and expelled from Nuremberg for atheistic views and for expressing revolutionary ideas. Their high craftsmanship engravings on copper are of a completely secular nature and attest to the strong influence of Italian engraving.

Barthel Beham embodies ancient subjects, especially interested in a nude body, creates excellent portraits, depicts the figures of the Landsknechts. His sheets are distinguished by freedom, clarity and airiness, revealing a perfect mastery of engraving technique.

An example is a thin, pierced with light and air “Madonna at the window,” which is a charming genre scene. In the work of the three named engravers, the pettiness, fractionality and tension of the post-Gegetic art are overcome; in their images are dominated by clear plastic forms, clear calm contours. In this sense, they continue the tradition of Dürer’s mature and later works.

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