Durer and Freud – comparison

I have chosen Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) and Lucian Freud (1922-2011) as two artists which exemplify mastery of detailed drawing. Durer’s draughtsmanship is incredible. Below is a drawing of a bird’s wing, showing the fine detail of his work. It is very precise and delicate.

Albrecht Durer: Wing of a Blue Roller, 1512 (w/c on vellum with gold)

Albrecht Durer: Wing of a Blue Roller, 1512 (w/c on vellum with gold)

In this study of feet, you can see Durer’s hatching techniques – he seems to use a curved hatching to give three dimensional form to the feet.

Albrecht Durer: Feet of an apostle

Albrecht Durer: Feet of an apostle (circa 1508)

Lucian Freud’s early drawings were very detailed too. In particular, I love this one of a young woman, which I saw recently at the Lucian Freud exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The photograph really doesn’t do it justice. The image is stunningly beautiful, with tiny little marks in chalk making up the picture surface. The detail on the hair is also amazing, with each strand being drawn in individually.

Lucian Freud: A Girl, 1946 (conte, crayon & chalk) (b/w photo)

Lucian Freud: A Girl, 1946 (conte, crayon & chalk) (b/w photo)

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