Thursday, March 28, 2013
Is Albrecht Durer’s Last Supper Better Than da Vinci’s?
With Easter coming this Sunday and the minting of a new pope still fresh in people’s minds, considerations and reconsiderations of Christianity seem natural and unavoidable. The Renaissance art of the Italian big three—Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Raphael—continues to dominate the popular imagination, but a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, asks us to turn our eyes north, to a different kind of Renaissance man. Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina features all the bravura draftsmanship of Albrecht Dürer, who epitomizes what we now call the Northern Renaissance. When we think of Dürer, we think of his oversized talent matched by his oversized presence in the unforgettable portrait in which he set himself up as Christ himself. And, yet, Dürer, as the show demonstrates, could push ego aside in depicting scenes of great religious sensibility. For centuries, da Vinci’s take on The Last Supper has stood as the gold standard (even when the painting itself threatened to fall apart). Is it wrong (or even blasphemus) to ask if Dürer’s interpretation (shown above) is just as good, or even better? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Is Albrecht Durer’s Last Supper Better Than da Vinci’s?"
[Image: Albrecht Dürer. The Last Supper, 1523. Woodcut. Overall: 21.3 x 30.1 cm (8 3/8 x 11 7/8 in.). Overall (framed): 40.6 49.3 3.6 cm (16 19 7/16 1 7/16 in.). Albertina, Vienna.]
[Many thanks to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, for providing the image above and other press materials related to their exhibition, Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina, which runs through June 9, 2013.]