Philip Hoare

Albrecht Dürer’s genius for self-promotion

The great artist was also a supreme narcissist, painting his coded monogram in a self-portrait as Christ and advertising his talents in the central panel of an altarpiece

Dürer’s self-portrait as a Christ-like figure, painted in 1500. [Bridgeman Images]

Albrecht Dürer, one of the most narcissistic artists that ever lived (and it’s a crowded field), would have loved this book. It lays out methodically, with academic brilliance, the marketplace, techno-aware basis of the ‘Dürer Renaissance’ and the artist’s rise to immortal fame. With a glorious accumulation of detail, assiduous research and – as she acknowledges before her exciting journey begins – the benefit of ‘magnificent institutional support’, Ulinka Rublack, a history professor at Cambridge University, delivers a deluxe book, with chapter and verse to support her grand subtitle: ‘Art and Society at the Dawn of a Global World’.

Dürer depicted...

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