Albrecht Dürer: The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)

(Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria)

This work is better known as the 'Landauer Altarpiece', named after the merchant Matthäus Landauer of Nuremberg who commissioned this painting for a chapel in the Zwölfbrüderhaus in Nuremberg. The main focus of this painting is the holy trinity: God, Jesus and the holy spirit. Surrounding this trio are several groups. At the top is the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove which is surrounded by cherubim’s. Below the holy spirit is God who is wearing an imperial crown and is holding the cross with a still-alive Jesus. The the left and right of God are angels which are supporting a green cloak of God. Below the angels are a host of female (to the left) and male saints (to the right).  The female saints are led by Mary in her blue dress with Saint Catherine of Alexandria (behind Mary with the wheel) and Mary Magdalene (green dress and a golden cup). The male saints are led by John the Baptist with Moses and king David among them. Below the saints is a large group which represent humankind. They are divided into a left group, led by the pope, which are the religious men and women. The group on the right is led by Holy Roman Emperor and represent the laymen. Among the religious group is also Matthäus Landauer himself - second person on the left with long grey hair and his hat in his hand. The man standing below on the ground is Albrecht Dürer, he is holding a board with the text: "ALBERTUS DURER NORICUS FACIEBAT ANNO A VIRIGINIS PARTU 1511" which translates as "Albrecht Dürer from Nuremberg has created this in 1511 after the birth of the virgin".

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