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Self-Portrait at 26 (with gloves)

Artist: Albrecht Durer
Created: 1498
Dimensions (cm): 41.0 x 52.0
Format: Oil on panel
Location: Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain



Albrecht Durer painted ‘Self-Portrait at 26 (with gloves)’ as part of a series of three self-portraits - the first being when he was 22, one at 26, and another at 28. All three act as a timeline in his perception of himself. If Durer’s portrait at 28 is considered his most famous, then ‘Self-Portrait at 26 (with gloves)’ is perhaps his most characteristically defining. Painted with oil on a panel, the art work not only depicts the artist as he saw himself, but also as he desperately wanted others to view him. Striking a very confident pose, he wears his white gloves, folds his hands, and rests his arm on the table before him. His posture is perfectly straight, his clothing expensive and elegant. His overwhelming presence in the painting leaves but small amounts of space for a background. Behind him, a window offers a landscape view of the Alps, and just below it, an inscription reads: “I have thus painted myself. I was 26 years old. Albrecht Durer.”

Albrecht Durer yearned to be given a reputation of high standing. Though extremely talented and remarkable as a painter, Germany considered him, to be a goldsmith craftsman. This fuelled the artist’s determination to be viewed otherwise.

To our benefit, Albrecht Durer has over 350 woodcuts and engravings that have survived. It is impossible to determine exactly how many of his paintings have been lost, but at least 60 are still in existence, and are considered to be major works of art. ‘Self-Portrait at 26 (with gloves)’ is currently located at the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain



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