A recent article in Christie's New Art Newspaper reviews a major exhibition of work by Germany's greatst artist Albrecht Dürer, The Early Dürer at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, 24 May-2 September, 2012.
The exhibit includes the 1500 work Self-portrait Wearing Fur-trimmed Coat owned by the Alte Pinakothek in Munich and considered "Too precious to lend." The loan of the painting sparked a controversy due to fears of damage, but only when politicians became involved was the decision made to include the painting in the Nuremburg exhibit.
“In his day, Dürer was a world-famous artist,” says Klaus Schrenk, the director general of the Bavarian State Painting Collections, and the self-portrait, “a humanist icon”, represents “the humanistic view that human capabilities and progressive thought were no longer divinely preordained”. Dürer’s paintings “tell us with great self-assurance what it means to be human”, he adds. Dürer was the first artist north of the Alps—and one of the first anywhere—to apply the notion of what it is to be human to his own self-image.