The son of a goldsmith, Dürer was an apprentice, first in his father's workshop and later until 1490 in the studio of the painter Wolgemut. After his bachelor journey, which took him to Colmar, Basel, and Strasbourg, and a trip to Italy in 1494, he established himself permanently in Nuremberg. Through these travels he gained a firsthand acquaintance with the art of Schongauer, the foremost Northern engraver of this time, and while in Italy he was drawn to the art of Mantegna and Bellini. Together with a keen sense of observation for realistic details, Dürer developed a rational system of perspective and bodily proportions, but was also able to create visions of fantasy, such as his Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. A series of large woodcuts of the Apocalypse was issued in 1498.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.