i Albrecht Dürer, A Lady from Nuremberg and a Lady from Venice, c.1495, detail, dark grey-brown ink on laid paper, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main

7 – Dürer in Renaissance Venice


Course 7 – Summer School online

Monday 12 – Friday 16 June 2023
Dr Richard Williams

Course description

Albrecht Dürer’s journey to Venice encapsulates an extraordinary moment of cultural cross-fertilisation that has shaped our understanding of Renaissance art. In Venice the German artist encountered a new artistic world of colour and the depiction of light. In turn, Dürer was a celebrated figure in Italy through his graphic work that exerted a profound influence across the visual arts.

This course will study Dürer’s life and work by exploring the wider relationship between German and Venetian art. It will examine Italianate influences on Dürer and his contemporaries but also consider rival native traditions seen in the works of Cranach and Grünewald. Interpreting these tensions within German art has driven the last 500 years of historiography. Art historians have often presented Dürer either as a progressive internationalist or as embodying a nationalistic spirit. Reviewing how successive generations have reinvented Dürer for their own times can inform how we see and understand him today.

Lecturer’s biography

Dr Richard Williams completed his doctorate at The Courtauld and was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship by Yale University. Following this he was a specialist in Northern Renaissance art in the art history department at Birkbeck, University of London. More recently he has been appointed Learning Curator at the Royal Collection and is based at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. His published research focuses on art in England and other regions of Northern Europe in the sixteenth century.