Albrecht Dürer  (1471-1528)

 Coat-of-Arms of Albrecht Duerer 
 (c) 2009 Jochen Wilke, reproduced by permission  Melencolia I (detail) 
 by Albrecht Duerer (1514)


The arms of the  Dürer  family  (Gules, an open door upon a  dreiberg  Or)  were canting arms:  The original German name was  Thürer  (meaning "doormaker")  which had been a playful translation into German of the Hungarian name  Ajtósi  when the family moved to Nuremberg  (in 1455)  from the Hungarian village of  Ajtós  near Gyula  (Ajtó  means "door" in Hungarian).

Jochen Wilke, who drew the above (copyrighted) rendition, points out that the arms appear in a well-known 1523 woodcut by Dürer himself, whereas the tinctures can be obtained from another lesser-known color picture of his parental arms which Dürer painted in 1490  (on the back of a portrait of his father).  Some otherwise reputable heraldists have occasionally used wrong tinctures.

Arguably,  Albrecht Dürer  is the dominant artist of the  Renaissance  in Northern Europe.  He also wrote two mathematically oriented treatises  (in German):

In 1514, he produced the famous allegorical engraving whose central part is shown above  (the title  "Melencolia I"  appears elsewhere in the composition).  This much-debated picture has been construed as a spiritual self-portrait of Dürer  (winged and in female garb).  It features a despondent chubby  angel of genius  and several mathematical objects, including a faint cadaveric human figure inside a large octahedron  (a truncated triangular deltohedron now dubbed  Dürer's solid  or  Melancholy octahedron).  The date of the composition  (1514)  appears on the bottom line of the  magic square  reproduced above.

Wikipedia   |   Melencolia I (1514)   |   Dürer-Holper family arms (1490)   |   Dürer coat-of-arms (1523)
Dürer's Polyhedra by George W. Hart (1997)   |   MacTutor Biography      Albrecht Duerer
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