Albrecht Du¨rer, who lived from 1471 to 1528, worked during the time of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. Typical of his era, religion was the subject of most of his creative work.
We know more about Du¨rer than many artists of his day, thanks to his proclivity with the pen as well as with his paintbrush. He was also widely known across Europe during his lifetime because much of his work was disseminated by printing.
Du¨rer left a considerable body of work: around 1,300 drawings and sketches, copper engravings, woodcut prints, numerous portraits, and several significant altarpieces. Du¨rer single-handedly transformed the way woodcuts were composed to produce much more texture within the finished print.
After his death, Du¨rer’s reputation achieved almost cult status in Germany, with huge jubilee celebrations in 1828, 300 years after his death. Today, Du¨rer is justifiably renowned as one of the greatest Renaissance artists.