Albrecht Durer was a versatile and gifted German artist of the Renaissance period. The brilliant painter left a strong impact on the medium of printmaking and commercial centers in Europe. The artist is known to create a number of striking self-portraits that assert his creative genius (Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) 2016). His Self-Portrait wearing a coat with fur collar is done on a wooden panel in 1500. The essay discusses the Self-Portrait as well as the importance of the gaze in the portrait that is considered the most personal and complex. The self-portrait was done in 1500 was completed just before the artists’ 29th birthday. Made in oil on a wooden panel, the self-portrait is now a part of the collection of the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. What is unique about the portrait is that unlike his other self-portraits, the artist here looks directly at the viewer. His face is set squarely toward the viewer while his hand touches the fur collar of his coat. The curly hair around his face and a somber expression remind one of those Christ-like self-portraits. The way his hand is placed reminds of the images of Christ blessing in religious icons (The Genius of Albrecht Dürer Revealed in Four Self-Portraits 2015). The subject of artists depicting themselves in their works and looking directly at the spectator carried a tint of the religious subject. Dürer slightly elongated face stares intensely and directly at the viewer. His features are symmetrical, and the light falls unevenly on him and highlights the right side of the face, thus adding realism to the self-portrait. The Christ-like image appears to be self-conscious and self-conscious at the same time. The realistic and sophisticated portrait of Dürer shows him in a velvety brown cloak, trimmed with a fur collar. The glow on his face, the glistening strands of his hair and the rich brown of the coat make a strong contrast with the dark background.
There are several aspects accomplished by the painter. He portrayed the belief that God is in every man and that his artistic genius is a gift from God. By wearing rich and sophisticated clothes, he signals his status in life. The composition is highly symmetric and draws attention to the eyes. The viewer is compelled to stare at the eyes, which are placed at eye-level to empower the effect of the gaze. The tint and light of the self-portrait carry a golden hue. The glowing and curled hair, those mysterious eyes, the calm look on the face and the elegantly placed right hand, force one to think about the Renaissance artist as a charismatic living God. He looks fixedly at the viewer with pursed lips in a straight line that which reinforce the religious nature of the picture. There's no doubt about the advanced aesthetic sense in the artwork as well as creating a conscious conventional image of Jesus. The complex representation seems to be direct as well as introverted at the same time. The impersonal dignity of the facial expression seems like a mask that challenges the viewer to look beyond and read from the gaze of those eyes that look directly but reveal nothing. Dürer considered himself as a glamorous international artist, carrying style and sophistication. There is no denying that looking at his different self-portraits, he was a favorite subject of himself. He was proud of his long bright hair that can be seen hanging freely in his self-portraits. The Christ-like gaze in the portrait is perhaps an attempt by the artist that he was aware of the artistic genius in him and was an inspired creator, just like a God (Jones 2002). There is no denying that the artist was a learned and progressive, bringing a broad perspective of the Italian Renaissance to northern Europe. Leonardo da Vinci was his role model and his art demonstrates a new phase.
"Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528)." metmuseum. 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.
Jones, Jonathan."Divine inspiration,” theguardian. 2002. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.
"The Genius of Albrecht Dürer Revealed in Four Self-Portraits." openculture. 2015. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.