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La «Nemesi» düreriana:Un manifesto della Translatio artium verso il Nord

Elena Filippi

Published online:

13 Mar 2021



In ca. 1502, Dürer created an engraving known to history with the title The Great Fortune, which is considered one of his first artistic peaks given its technical mastery and compositional power. The piece bears witness to an important chapter of the artist’s relationship with Antiquity and with the graphic proposals of his contemporary Italian colleagues. Owing to the research that arose from the important 2012 exhibition Der frühe Dürer, this study intends to shed light on the reasons for which this artwork should be re-evaluated as an expression of the ‘new awareness’ of Nuremberg’s cultural environment of the time, so much so that it expresses this specific environment’s eager desire for self-affirmation. Dürer’s engraving became a manifesto of the translatio artis et sapientiae in the North. The various elements that constitute the original compositional idea must therefore be considered within the specific context that promoted its creation. To this end, it is also necessary to reflect upon the actual title, the name by which the artist himself referred to his work: Nemesis.

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