Painter and printmaker Albrecht Durer is often referred to as the greatest German Renaissance artist. His extensive body of work includes altarpieces and religious works, numerous portraits and self-portraits, and copper engravings.
Dürer began his training as a draughtsman in the goldsmith's workshop of his father. When he was 15 years old he worked as an apprentice to the painter and woodcut illustrator Michael Wohlgemuth. After working for three years under Wohlgemuth, he traveled through the Netherlands, Alsace, and to Basle, Switzerland, where he completed his first authenticated woodcut.
In 1494, he married Agnes Frey, the daughter of a merchant and took his first trip to Italy, a journey that would greatly influence his art. He became very influenced by and involved with the Renaissance, and his graphics ultimately influenced the art of the Italian Renaissance that had originally inspired his own efforts. In the early 1500’s Durer traveled to Italy again, and became very inspired by the work of Giovanni Bellini. He also worked for the Holy Roman emperor Maximilian I for many years. By 1515, he had achieved an international reputation as an artist when he exchanged works with the illustrious High Renaissance painter Raphael. Dürer died in 1528.