Born in Nuremburg Albrecht Durer took centre-stage in the world of art at a time when most artistic attention was focussed on either Italy or the Netherlands. He lived most of his 57 years in Nuremburg although he travelled a great deal striving to improve his skills.
His early training was as a goldsmith which stood him in good stead and can be seen in his attention to minute detail and the ability to work in several media. Not only were his portraits and altarpieces exquisitely and acutely observed, he also revolutionised the world of wood-cuts and engravings. He was also the first German artist to write about his own life and the first to draw nudes from life. He also wrote on the theory of art. Only his contemporary, Leonardo da Vinci, bears comparison with him in these achievements.