Melencolia I Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1075 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“But what absolute beauty is I know not. Nobody knows it but God,” said Albrecht Durer, before creating his engraving (29 Finkelstein). Melencolia I, created in 1514, conveys this statement visually in the engraving about not being able to obtain divine knowledge. Part of a supposed series of large prints, Melencolia I belongs to the three virtues of medieval scholasticism, which are morality, theology, and intellectuality. Though linked to insanity, Renaissance studies indicate that melancholy, a depressive state, was linked to creative genius, praising it more as a gift than a curse. This change in definition could only be applied to Dürer, as he had mastered his craft, yet could not achieve divine beauty (Met Museum). To understand the meaning behind this highly detailed piece of art, it must be broken down into different areas of focus; to fully understand the theme of the piece: knowledge is divine. To understand the theme, we must first look at the artist’s biographical makeup to understand why he chose to make such an elaborate print. The piece itself must be analyzed to gain understanding of the theme of divine knowledge, as well as make crucial connections between the piece and the artist.
Albrecht Dürer took printmaking to a new level, to a form of fine art all its own. Melencolia I, along with other prints proved to be far more superior to prints made in the past. Though Dürer grew up in Germany, visits to Italy heavily influenced his artistic style and thirst for artistic expression (Met Museum). Not only did he strive for artistic perfection, he also excelled in other forms of math and science, which carried over into his theories of geometry and perspective in his art. His methods made him an iconic figure on the...

... middle of paper ...

... other artists, the piece inspired poetry, prose, and sculpture, which derive from high praise to frustration. An excerpt from a poem written by Peg Boyers as part of Dürer’s Melencolia I: New Looks, expresses the emotions she felt while studying Melencolia I. She writes, “Geometry, that god you worship, has betrayed yon. It clutters your surface with angles and shapes, tempting you to ponderous speculation, placing clumsy obstacles in your path.” Perhaps this was the reaction Dürer intended, to confuse and befuddle the viewers, letting them see the same world as him. Though there were many objects bearing a symbol in the piece, the ones chosen were just a handful that helps reinforce the theme of divine knowledge. Dürer truly created a map of puzzles meant to be questioned and analyzed, to stray the viewer off the right path, yet all paths lead back to the theme.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
Albrecht Dürer’s Meisterstiche Essay - Albrecht Dürer was a German Renaissance artist known for his prints, and books on proportion. For over a hundred years, Knight, Death and Devil,(cat. 1) Saint Jerome in His Study,(cat. 2) and Melencolia I, (cat. 3) have been considered Dürer’s Meisterstiche, or “master prints.”1 There are several different interpretations of these 3 engravings, the imagery with in them, and their relation to each other. These Master Prints are probably the most written about of Dürer’s work. In the year 2014, we are at the 500-year anniversary of the creation of Melencolia I, and Saint Jerome in His Study, they still remain provocative, and mysterious....   [tags: The Meistersteiche of Dürer]
:: 11 Works Cited
3350 words
(9.6 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Symbolism of Albrecht Durer Essays - Symbolism of Albrecht Durer Albrecht Durer completed the “Master Engravings” in the years 1513 and 1514. With these three engravings (Knight, Death, and Devil, St. Jerome in His Study, and Melencolia I) he reached the high point of his artistic expression and concentration. each print represents a different philosophical perspective on the “worlds” respectively of action, spirit, and intellect. Although Durer himself evidently did not think of the three as a set, He sometimes sold or gave St. Jerome and Melencolia I as a pair....   [tags: Master Engravings Art Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1609 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Homage to Albrecht Durer Essay - Albrecht Durer is known as one of the most gifted painters and engravers of the German Renaissance period. His works are known throughout the world and have inspired artists to not only study and learn his techniques but also to broaden his techniques, expanding his already famous style. Albrecht Durer was born on May 21, 1471 in the city of Nuremberg, Germany. His parents were Albrecht Durer and Barbara Holper. “His father was a successful goldsmith, originally named Ajtósi, who in 1455 had moved to Nuremberg from Ajtós, Hungary”(Strieder)....   [tags: Biography] 1108 words
(3.2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
German Renaissance and Its Influence on Austrian Culture Essay - The German renaissance took place during the sixteenth century in Europe. The Renaissance was a time of discovery and learning. The word "renaissance" means rebirth or revival. The German renaissance inspired just that, a revival and rebirth of education and art. The people of Europe became interested in art and music during the renaissance. Education was also changing as the people became more interested in sciences and philosophy. German art work from this time period was dominated by local and independent schools....   [tags: European History] 1110 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]