DÜRER, Albrecht
(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)

Draughtsman Drawing a Recumbent Woman

Woodcut, 8 x 22 cm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

In Dürer's later years he devoted an increasing proportion of his time to writing about art rather than practicing as an artist. The first book that Dürer actually finished was his Manual of Measurement, published in 1525. It deals with geometry and its importance to the artist, a subject which Dürer believed was fundamental because so many young artists lacked the necessary theoretical knowledge to become good painters. `Even if some of them acquire a good hand through constant practice, they produce work instinctively and without thought,' he wrote. The book includes practical advice on how to draw accurate pictures with the help of various devices. These included an upright grid of wires through which the artist views his subject, sketching it on a similar grid on his paper.

The picture shows an illustration from the Manual of Measurement.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.