Albrecht Dürer Documentary Biography Jeffrey Ashcroft

Publication date:
24 Jan 2017
Yale University Press
1216 pages: 241 x 159mm
70 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) was hailed in his lifetime as a founder of the Northern Renaissance, and his work revolutionized the art of printmaking. Dürer was also the first artist outside Italy to leave behind a large body of writing. Contemporaries and succeeding generations added their accounts of him to this documentary legacy. Jeffrey Ashcroft’s new book provides the first English translation of the whole corpus of Dürer’s writings; the legal, financial, and administrative documentation of his life and work; and what others wrote about him during his life and in the following century. Translations of primary documents are accompanied by extensive commentary, providing Anglophone scholars access to German-language research. This unique combination of documentary evidence, current research, and exhaustive bibliography will doubtless become a definitive source for students and scholars of Dürer and his work, as well as for historians of early modern culture, language, and literature.

Jeffrey Ashcroft is honorary research fellow in the School of Modern Languages and the Reformation Studies Institute at the University of St. Andrews.

'An easily available and up-to-date English translation of Durer's writings is long overdue, and students and scholars will find this text indispensable' — Olenka Horbatsch, Art Newspaper

“One of the achievements of Ashcroft’s edition is to show the artwork not as a finished masterpiece but as a struggle proceeding through time” – Adam Smyth, LRB

Ashcroft’s well-informed and philologically circumspect translation of all the relevant historical records now provides a solid new basis for such investigations. His corpus will surely prove indispensable to anyone interested in Dürer’s life and art.” —Armin Kunz, The Burlington Magazine