Germany and England

Cranach, Dürer, and Holbein—and all other artists after 1517—lived in a world forever changed by the Protestant Reformation.

1500 - 1600

videos + essays

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Lucas Cranach the Elder and workshop, <em>Saint Maurice</em>
Lucas Cranach the Elder and workshop, Saint Maurice

Saint Maurice was an important Black saint during the Renaissance, especially as the patron of the Holy Roman Empire

The carpet and the globe: Holbein’s <em>The Ambassadors</em> reframed
The carpet and the globe: Holbein’s The Ambassadors reframed

Everything seems so perfect... Hang on, what’s that in the foreground? And why is that lute string broken?

Portraits of Elizabeth I: Fashioning the Virgin Queen
Portraits of Elizabeth I: Fashioning the Virgin Queen

Queen Elizabeth I rarely commissioned portraits of herself, but her courtiers certainly did of the Virgin Queen

Inventing “America” for Europe: Theodore de Bry
Inventing “America” for Europe: Theodore de Bry

De Bry's images of the Americas affirm and assert a sense of European superiority.

Decoding art: Dürer’s <em>Melencolia I</em>
Decoding art: Dürer’s Melencolia I

Explore Dürer's masterful "psychological self-portrait" and the hidden meanings of the various objects in it.

The conservator’s eye: a stained glass Adoration of the Magi
The conservator’s eye: a stained glass Adoration of the Magi

Flashed or stained? Discover the historical techniques required to produce—and restore—this vibrant glass painting.

About Hans Holbein the Younger
About Hans Holbein the Younger

Care to waltz? In Holbein’s time, death was a visible part of life—the dance partner from which no one could hide.

Albrecht Dürer, <em>The Triumphal Arch</em>
Albrecht Dürer, The Triumphal Arch

Emperor Maximilian I employed Dürer to create a Triumphal Arch. It remains one of the largest prints ever produced.

Albrecht Dürer, <em>Adam and Eve</em>
Albrecht Dürer, Adam and Eve

What detail! Dürer studied the human body obsessively and spent four years working on this print. It shows.

Albrecht Dürer, <em>Self-portrait, Study of a Hand and a Pillow</em> (recto); <em>Six Studies of Pillows</em> (verso)
Albrecht Dürer, Self-portrait, Study of a Hand and a Pillow (recto); Six Studies of Pillows (verso)

It takes talent to turn an ordinary object into a work of art, but Dürer’s hand was up to the task.

Albrecht Dürer’s woodcuts and engravings
Albrecht Dürer’s woodcuts and engravings

Have print, will travel. New technologies of mechanical reproduction allowed Dürer to circulate his artistic ideas.

Albrecht Dürer, <em>Self-Portrait</em> (1500)
Albrecht Dürer, Self-Portrait (1500)

Dürer holds nothing back in this frontal portrait. By taking Christ’s pose, he conflates artist and creator.

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