(German, 1471–1528) is widely considered to be the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance, and is best known for his altarpieces, portraits, engravings, and woodcuts. The son of a goldsmith, Dürer was trained as an engraver from an early age. His training was also done abroad in Italy, where he first visited in 1494, and again between 1505 and 1506. There, he was deeply influenced by Venetian artists, known for the richness of their color palate. Dürer was also inspired by the work of Leonardo da Vinci
(Italian, 1452–1519), intrigued by his studies of the human figure, and would later conduct his own mathematical studies of perspective and proportion. Dürer received commissions from prestigious patrons, including Emperor Maximilian I and Charles V.
In the later part of his career, Dürer produced an increasing number of theoretical writings. His final and most important treatise, Four Books on Human Proportion
, deals with his explorations of human proportion. He was enormously influential on later generations of artists, particularly printmakers. Today, his works are contained in the collections of prestigious public and private collections around the world, including the National Gallery in London, the Museo del Prado in Madrid, the Uffizi in Florence, and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.