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Study of Two Feet for the Apostle Paul in the Heller Altarpiece

Study of Two Feet for the Apostle Paul in the Heller Altarpiece

Albrecht Dürer (in circa 1508)

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Between 1507 and 1509 Dürer painted a large altarpiece depicting the Assumption of the Virgin and the Coronation of the Virgin for the wealthy cloth merchant Jacob Heller. It was placed in the Dominican church in Frankfurt but was destroyed by fire in 1729. Dürer made several preliminary studies for parts of the painting. Twenty of these have survived, including this famous drawing of two feet for the kneeling apostle Paul at the bottom right of the painting., Around the time of Fra Bartolommeo’s visit to Venice Dürer painted a large altarpiece depicting the Assumption of the Virgin and the Coronation of the Virgin for the wealthy cloth merchant and mayor of Frankfurt Jacob Heller. Mattias Grünewald painted the wings of the tryptich. It was placed in the Dominican church in Frankfurt. Dürer made several preliminary studies for parts of the painting. Twenty of these have survived, including this famous drawing for the kneeling apostle Paul at the bottom right of the painting., Like his Italian contemporaries Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer was a versatile and influential Renaissance artist. He travelled widely, visiting among other places the Netherlands and Northern Italy. In the course of those journeys, he encountered the principles of humanistic philosophy and the innovative artistic idiom of the Early Renaissance. Dürer is best known for his woodcuts and engravings. Prints of his work were widely distributed and had a profound influence on other artists. Between 1507 and 1509, he painted a large panel depicting the Assumption of the Virgin and the Coronation of the Virgin for his patron Jacob Heller, a wealthy textile merchant. It was to form part of an altarpiece for a Dominican church in Frankfurt, but the altarpiece has unfortunately been lost. From his correspondence with Heller, we learn that Dürer spent more than a year preparing the work. He made several studies for various parts of the painting. They were all drawn in the same manner, with a brush and black ink, heightened with white, on paper with a coloured ground. Twenty of these studies have survived, including this famous drawing. It shows the two feet on which Dürer based the feet of the kneeling apostle Paul, at lower right in the centre panel of the Heller Altarpiece. In the drawing, we also see the hem of a cloak over the right foot. [text: Albert Elen]

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Collection book

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Specifications

Title Study of Two Feet for the Apostle Paul in the Heller Altarpiece
Material and technique Brush in black ink, grey wash, heightened with white, on green prepared paper
Object type
Drawing > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Width 216 mm
Height 176 mm
Artists Tekenaar: Albrecht Dürer
Accession number MB 1958/T 24 (PK)
Credits Verworven met de verzameling van / Acquired with the collection of: D.G. van Beuningen 1958
Department Drawings & Prints
Acquisition date 1958
Age artist Between 32 and 42 years old
Collector Collector / D.G. van Beuningen
Exhibitions Van Pisanello tot Cézanne (1992)
De Collectie Twee - wissel I, Prenten & Tekeningen (2009)
TEFAF - Collecting Collectors (2016)
Rondom Fra Bartolommeo (2016)
External exhibitions Dürer (2013)
Dürer e il Rinascimento Tedesco (2018)
Material
Object
Technique
Prepare > Prepared > Shaping techniques > General technique > Technique > Material and technique
Prepare > Prepared > Shaping techniques > General technique > Technique > Material and technique
Grey wash > Washing > Wash > Drawing technique > Technique > Material and technique
Highlight > Painting technique > Technique > Material and technique
Geographical origin Germany > Western Europe > Europe

All about the artist

Albrecht Dürer

Neurenberg 1471 - Neurenberg 1528

Albrecht Dürer received his first lessons from his father, who was a goldsmith. He subsequently became a pupil of the painter Michael Wohlgemut. Dürer...

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