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Albrecht Dürer’s material world: Print culture in focus

A series of talks supported by The John Rylands Research Institute and Library

Albrecht Dürer’s material world
Print culture in focus

A series of talks supported by The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, celebrating the Whitworth’s landmark exhibition Albrecht Dürer’s material world.

The exhibition Albrecht Dürer’s material world continues at the gallery until 10 March 2024.

Events: 

Dürer and the Making of Modernism
with Prof Ulinka Rublack

Thursday 22 February, 5.15pm-6.30pm
FREE, booking is essential*
Location: Whitworth Study Centre, and online

Click this link to book your place

Albrecht Dürer and the Making of Modernism, talk by Professor Ulinka Rublack from Cambridge University.

*This is a hybrid event taking place online and at the Whitworth, in the gallery's Study Centre.

Based on Rublack's recent monograph Dürer's Lost Masterpiece; Art and Society at the Dawn of a Global World (OUP, 2023), this talk queries the view that Dürer was predominantly a master of self-fashioning. For much of his career, he felt adrift between the multiple and conflicting voices of his age, unable to reconcile them within himself. This profound experience was one wellspring of his creativity.

A re-reading of his career looks at the importance of painting for this master of print. It also emphasizes the importance of his merchant friends and the emergence of new global collecting cultures at the end of Dürer´s life, as art markets diversified and the Reformations took hold. In sum, the talk proposes new answers to the question of what links Dürer to the making of modernism.
Find out more and book

 

Unknotting Dürer's Jerome
with Professor Alexander Marr

Thursday 29 February, 5.15pm-6.15pm
FREE, booking is essential*
Location: Mansfield Cooper Building, room G.22, and online

Click this link to book your place

Unknotting Dürer's Jerome, talk by Professor Alexander Marr, from Cambridge University.

*This is a hybrid event taking place online and on the University of Manchester campus in the Mansfield Cooper Building.

The pendulant gourd in Dürer’s St Jerome in his Study (1514) has long been an object of fascination and frustration for art historians. While most acknowledge that by including this bulbous fruit so prominently in the print Dürer intended it to have some special meaning, nobody can quite agree on what that meaning is.

Interpretations have tended to be iconographical, drawing on sometimes obscure texts while largely ignoring the object’s curious, virtuosic form. Focusing on that form and the internal logic of the image, this talk will explore how, in St Jerome, Dürer tackled the knotty problems of representation, ornament and signification.
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PAST EVENTS

Albrecht Dürer’s Conceptions of Measurement
with Prof Jeanne Nuechterlein

Past event | Thursday 15 February, 5.15pm-6.30pm
FREE, booking is essential*
Location: Mansfield Cooper Building, room G.22, and online

Click this link to book your place

Albrecht Dürer’s Conceptions of Measurement, talk by Professor Ulinka Nuechterlein from the University of York.

*This is a hybrid event taking place online and on the University of Manchester campus in the Mansfield Cooper Building.

Throughout his career, Dürer sought to underpin his artistic work with theories of measurement and proportion. Early on, he appeared to believe that someone with the right knowledge would be able to show him the 'correct' approach to bodily proportion, but when he failed to find a teacher, he resolved to find the answers through his studies. We know that he consulted the writings of Vitruvius and Euclid, among others, but over the years he became less confident that any single system could suffice for the complexity of artistic production.

This talk addresses the evolution of Dürer’s attitudes towards measurement and his mature views as expressed in his treatises Underweysung der Messung (Instruction on Measurement, 1525) and Vier Bücher von menschlicher Proportion (Four Books on Human Proportion, 1528). Both of these works suggest that he still believed in the intrinsic value of mathematical systems, even while also believing that what artists needed above all was the capacity to invent freely. The intrinsic contradictions within these views can be seen in the woodcut illustrations of these treatises, as well as in his printmaking more generally.
Find out more and book

 

Image: Albrecht Dürer's material world, Whitworth exhibition visitor, 2023. Photo: David Oates