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Albrecht Dürer was one of the first Western artists to create self-portraits throughout his life. Thanks to a series of such paintings, it is possible to trace changes in the artistic style of Dürer in progression. The artist created the first engraving in 1484 - the painting "Self-portrait at 13 years old." Performed on a silver plate, the engraving is stored in the Albertina Gallery, in Vienna.
For the artists of the Middle Ages, self-portraits were not characteristic, the era of mysticism and the exaltation of the divine over human influenced this characteristic feature of the era. The innovator of that time was, just the same, Albrecht Durer with a series of self-portraits. The personality of the creator has always been suppressed by those subjects on which he worked, but from now on the view on painting has changed, because a new era in art has come - the Renaissance.
A young man of thirteen years is depicted in a waist-length portrait, in a three-quarter turn to the viewer. The early portrait was done in pencil; there are versions that the portrait served as a kind of “demand” sketch, which should have been improved as Dürer’s artistic skill improved, but this version is rejected by weighty arguments in favor of the artist’s desire to depict himself as he grows up and improving your skills.
It is impossible to underestimate the artistic talent of Albrecht Dürer even when considering his early works, acting as a kind of innovator, he was recognized as the greatest painter of the era of the wounded Renaissance. The artist’s desire to master more and more new techniques led him to the development of artistic woodcut - printed and pictorial graphics, which became widespread throughout the world. The artistic talent of the master was influenced by such prominent artists as Rafael, Titian and Bartolomeo Veneto.