Albrecht Dürer, Young Hare, 1502
Unsurprisingly, my first repeated artist is Dürer (1471-1528). As I previously discussed, Dürer is probably the most celebrated printmaker in history, but he was also a remarkably skilled and accomplished painter. Indeed, his 1500 self-portrait is considered one of the most important paintings in the history of art. This simple watercolor of a hare is also quite famous. What is astounding about this piece is the texture that Dürer observed and managed to convey. We can feel the animal's velvety fur, the power of its haunches, the taut sensitivity of its ears. The painting is also quite soulful. Just as he did with his own visage two years earlier, Dürer gives this hare a presence and depth that is incredibly engaging. We feel experience and contemplation in its eyes, far beyond what one expects to see in a painting of an animal. Astonishing in its accuracy and breathtaking in its beauty, this masterpiece is truly magnificent.
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