Some artists achieved such astonishing results so early in their careers. Innate talent was a factor, of course. But they also started young: Picasso, Dalí, and Michelangelo were all painting by their early teens. Below is a childhood work of Albrecht Dürer, which offers a glimpse into the evolution of artistic genius.
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At 28, Dürer painted his most famous self-portrait—a work that depicts the artist in a rich, fur-lined coat, long hair hanging loose around his shoulders. No less striking is this masterful drawing, completed when he was just 13 years old. Dürer’s teenage self-portrait was made around the time that he began working as an apprentice at his father’s Nuremberg jewelry shop.
It wasn’t long before the precocious youth abandoned the family business to train with local artist Michael Wolgemut, with whom he learned the ins and outs of woodcut illustration. Dürer would go on to revolutionize the art of printmaking, in the process becoming the most significant German artist of the Renaissance.
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