(1471 - 1528) was a German painter, printmaker and theorist from Nuremberg. His still-famous works include the Apocalypse woodcuts, Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513), Saint Jerome in his Study (1514) and Melencolia I (1514), which has been the subject of extensive analysis and interpretation. His watercolours mark him as one of the first European landscape artists, while his ambitious woodcuts revolutionized the potential of that medium. Durer's introduction of classical motifs into Northern art, through his knowledge of Italian artists and German humanists, have secured his reputation as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance. This is reinforced by his theoretical treatise which involve principles of mathematics, perspective and ideal proportions.
His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Renaissance in Northern Europe ever since.
In the 15th century, art in the north was still linked to the Gothic tradition but rendered with an exquisite naturalistic detail in the new medium of oil paints. Flanders was the main focus of artistic activity with artists such as Robert Campin, Rogier van der Weyden, Hugo van der Goes and Jan van Eyck.
In the 16th century the Gothic influence had its final say in the art of Hieronymus Bosch and Matthias Grünewald. Gradually the influence of the Italian Renaissance took hold, particularly in the work of Albrecht Dürer which offered a Protestant challenge to the authority of the Catholic Church.