Albert and the Whale: Albrecht Dürer and How Art Imagines Our World

May 4, 2021
Albert and the Whale: Albrecht Dürer and How Art Imagines Our World

An illuminating exploration of the intersection between life,art and the sea from the award-winning author of TheWhale.In 1520, Albrecht Dürer, the most celebrated artist in NorthernEurope, sailed to Zeeland to see a whale. A central figure of theRenaissance, no one had painted or drawn the world like him. Dürerdrew hares and rhinoceroses in the way he painted saints andmadonnas. The wing of a bird or the wing of an angel; a spider crabor a bursting star like the augury of a black hole, in Dürer's art,they were part of a connected world. Everything hadmeaning.But now he was in crisis. He had lost his patron, the Holy RomanEmperor. He was moorless and filled with wanderlust. In the shapeof the whale, he saw his final ambition.Dürer was the first artist to truly employ the power ofreproduction. He reinvented the way people looked at, andunderstood, art. He painted signs and wonders; comets, devils,horses, nudes, dogs, and blades of grass so accurately that eventoday they seem hyper-real, utterly modern images. Most startlingand most modern of all, he painted himself, at every stage of hislife.But his art captured more than the physical world, he alsocaptured states of mind.Albert and the Whale explores the work of thisremarkable man through a personal lens. Drawing on Philip’sexperience of the natural world, and of the elements that shape ourcontemporary lives, from suburbia to the wide open sea, Philip willenter Dürer's time machine. Seeking his own Leviathan, Hoare helpus better understand the interplay between art and our world inthis sublimely seductive book.