Albrecht Durer's Renaissance

Humanism, Reformation, and the Art of Faith
David Hotchkiss Price
This lavishly illustrated book provides a fresh and challenging new perspective on the life and Work of Dürer


Albrecht Dürer witnessed and represented some of the most momentous events in early modern European history—the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation and, prior to that, the innovations, both religious and cultural, of the Renaissance humanist movement. In addition to a fresh evaluation of the career of the most significant artist in German cultural history, this book presents a history of the religious reforms taking root in the early northern Renaissance, especially among the intellectual avant-garde. In general, Dürer conceptualized Martin Luther's movement as part of the larger matrix of theological and religious reforms grounded in the humanist study of early Christianity. Because Dürer was the first northern artist to attempt to alter the style of medieval religious devotions to reflect the new concerns of the Renaissance, he gave visual form to some of the most significant changes in Christian culture.

Richly illustrated and written in a style that is accessible to undergraduates and general readers, Albrecht Dürer's Renaissance is a contribution in equal measure to art history and church history.

David Hotchkiss Price, a specialist in Renaissance cultural and ecclesiastical history, has broken new ground with this comprehensive analysis of Renaissance humanism as the foundation for Dürer's religious art and, in particular, for Dürer's reception of the Reformation and Renaissance humanist movements. Price also offers an innovative study of the relationships between text and image and a pioneering assessment of the representation of Jews in Dürer's religious art. The result is a fresh and challenging new perspective on the life and work of Albrecht Dürer.

David Hotchkiss Price is Associate Professor of History and Associate Professor of Church History at Southern Methodist University.

Praise / Awards

  • " . . . dramatically alters received opinion regarding some of Durer's most important graphic works, and in doing so . . . decisively recasts our understanding of his humanism."
    American Historical Review
  • "Price's study of Albrecht Durer (d. 1528) is an unusually fine book . . . . [Price] appears equally at home discussing artistic style, Renaissance philosophy, a wide range of theological issues, and historical developments. With such a large bag of tools, Price is able to provide new insights into specific works and to view the career of Durer generally in ways that instruct even those who have devoted their lives to the study of Durer. . . .This is a book not to be missed."
    Church History
  • "A superb, well-argued book . . . . Price makes an excellent case for the necessity of studying Dürer's impressive literary and artistic outputs together . . . . As Price . . . nicely demonstrate[s], Dürer . . . wanted his words, as well as his art, to endure into the future."
    —Jeffrey Chipps Smith, University of Texas at Austin, H-Net (Humanities and Social Sciences Online)
  • "Any newcomer to either the artist or the period would be well advised to start with Price or to consult his informed, engaged account of these politico-religious issues."
    Sixteenth Century Journal
  • "Price offers us something new...Price's work is thus a compelling example of the synergistic potential of interdisciplinary works. Indeed, it is an exquisitely illustrated book, and written with such eloquence and at such a high level of scholarship that it deserves recognition as a masterpiece in its own right."
    —Andrew L. Thomas, H-Net

Look Inside

Copyright © 2003, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • 6.125 x 9.25.
  • 361pp.
  • 117 B&W photographs in text, 8 color photograph section.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2003
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11343-9

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  • $99.95 U.S.