Durer
# Albrecht Dürer

### Born: 21 May 1471
in Imperial Free City of Nürnberg (now in Germany)

Died: 6 April 1528
in Imperial Free City of Nürnberg (now in Germany)

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**Dürer** is known for his work as an engraver. He laid the foundations of descriptive geometry.

Dürer was the most important German artist in the period from the late Gothic to the Renaissance. Dürer is known for his work as an engraver. The picture above is a self portrait by him which is now in the Prado Museum in Madrid.
In 1486 Dürer became an apprentice painter and woodcut designer. Dürer travelled to Colmar about 1490 and went on to Strasbourg and Basel. He returned to Nuremberg in 1494 and married Agnes Frey.

Dürer visited Venice in 1494-95 and again between 1505 and 1507. These visits strongly influenced his art. Dürer was appointed court painter to Maximilian I, the Holy Roman emperor, in 1512 and again under Charles V in 1520.

Descriptive geometry originated with Dürer and was given a sound mathematical basis by Monge. Dürer was interested in geometry, partly for intellectual reasons, partly for practical reasons. One of the methods of overcoming the problems of projection is descriptive geometry. The foundations of descriptive geometry are laid in Dürer's treatise on human proportions De Symetria Partium in Rectis Formis Humanorum Corporum Libri.. published in Nuremberg after his death in 1528.

He produced in 1525 a method for obtaining a good approximation to the trisector of an angle by Euclidean construction.

He is famed for his engraving Melancholia which contains the first magic square to be seen in Europe. It contains the date 1514 as two entries in the middle of the bottom row.

**References (20 books/articles)**

**References elsewhere in this archive:**

Show me Melancholia and the magic square and more information about this magic square

Show me some of Dürer's work on facial proportions

There is a **Crater Dürer** on Mercury. You can see a list of planetary features named after mathematicians.

**Other Web sites:**

Rice University, USA

JOC/EFR December 1996