On the heels of the much praised William Kentridge exhibition, the Art Museum of the Banco de la República delves back in time with a show entitled: Durero, Grabados 1496- 1522.

Brought to Bogotá from the prestigious Dal Bosco collection in Europe and curated by Spaniard Rosa Perales Piqueres, the Dürer exhibition is the first of its kind for Colombian audiences and carefully examines the technique used by a gifted artist who elevated printmaking into an independent art form.

Born in the Franconian village of Nuremberg, Albrecht Dürer (1471– 1528) was a brilliant painter, draftsman and writer. His greatest impact in art stems from printmaking and by the age of 30, he has already completed major works such The Apocalypse (1498), the Passion cycle (1497–1500) and the Life of the Virgin (ca.1500).

The son of a goldsmith, Dürer produced independent prints and small, self-contained groups of images, such as the Master Engravings featuring Knight, Death, and the Devil, Saint Jerome in His Study (1514) and Melencholia I, intended for connoisseurs rather than popular devotion.

In the exhibition there are prints predating 1500, when Dürer worked in his Nuremberg workshop, such as The Holy Family (1496) and Hercules at the crossroads (1496): an enigmatic engraving relating to a passage by the Greek writer Xenophon of a youthful Hercules deciding between Virtue and Pleasure. Dürer depicts Pleasure lying naked with a satyr, about to be beat- en by her opponent. Hercules wields a tree-trunk, ready to enter the fight. Dürer was inspired by the Italian motifs for his representation of classical nudes.

One of Dürer’s masterpieces, Melencholia I is exhibited at the Art Museum and is one of three prints of the Master Engravings series, and widely considered by critics as a portrait of the artist’s spiritual condition at the time of completion in 1514. In the Renaissance thinking, melancholy with associated with creative genius – and in the print – a winged personification of Melancholy is seated dejectedly, surrounded by tools used for geometry. Melencholia I is charged with masonic symbols and the artist was rumored to belong to the secretative society. The print Knight, Death, and the Devil is also on display at this carefully curated show.

More than any other Northern European artist, Dürer was engaged by the artistic practices and theoretical interests of Italy. He visited the country twice from 1494 to 1495 and again from 1505 to 1507, absorbing first hand some of the great works of the Italian Renaissance, as well as the clas- sical heritage and theoretical writings of the region.

Dürer developed an interest in the human form, as demonstrated by his nude studies. He pursued an interest in geometric theory which earned him the attention of the most prominent figures in German society. He became the official court artist to Holy Roman Emperors Maximilian I and his successor Charles V.

Besides the exhibition there will be conferences and guided tours, with the participation of Renaissance experts A catalogue printed celebrating this cultural milestone includes academic texts to accompany the 113 prints, and the online edition of the show combines multimedia with infographics, explaining that Dürer’s vision was as mysterious, as it was masterful.

Museo de Arte BanRep 

Calle 11 No.4-41

Free admission