“The Feast of Wreaths from Roses,” Albrecht Dührer – overview of the painting

“The Feast of Wreaths from Roses,” Albrecht Dührer – overview of the painting
“The Feast of Wreaths from Roses,” Albrecht Dührer - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Albrecht Durer
  • Museum: National Gallery, Prague
  • Year: 1506

Overview of the painting :

Rose Wreath Festival – Albrecht Durer. 1506. 162 x 194 cm
   The colorful multi-figure picture “Honor Festival” by Albrecht Dührer was a significant event in the creative life of the master – society finally saw in him not only a talented successful engraver, but also a virtuoso painter.

   At the beginning of the 1500s, Dührer makes a trip to Italy, getting acquainted with local masters, whose art at that time was recognized as a reference. In Venice, the artist receives a painting order from German merchants who have long settled in this city. Right here in the city, which is called the “pearl of Italy”, Dührer writes an altar image for the church, which was near the shopping house of the merchant Fondaco Tedeschi.

   In the center of the plot is a fragile and inspired Virgin Mary, holding the baby Jesus in her arms. A little boy raised a wreath of white and scarlet roses above his head, ready to lower it on the forehead of Maximilian the First. A wreath of roses is a symbol of the unification of all Christians, where white flowers mean the purity and integrity of Mary, and red ones mean the suffering of Jesus. Catholics around the world pray with rosary in their hands. Our Lady lays his wreath on the head of Pope Julius II.

   Researchers note the significant influence of Italian masters on Dührer in creating this work. In particular, the angel, which is playing music at the feet of Maria, is a frequent leitmotif of paintings by Italian masters.

   Above Maria’s head, two angels hold a heavy crown – the crown of the Habsburgs. We also see St. Dominic, who distributes wreaths to laity. The figure on the right in beautiful clothes is Durer himself. In addition to himself, the artist depicted the famous architect Jerome, Cardinal Grimani and the customer merchants themselves.

   Over its five hundred-year history, the magnificent picture has experienced a number of damage and reconstruction. Today, the completely restored painting “The Festival of Wreaths from Roses” is stored in the national gallery of Prague.