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Stag Beetle by Albrecht Dürer
Stag Beetle by Albrecht Dürer

Stag Beetle, 1505

Albrecht Dürer

“It is indeed true,” Dürer wrote, “that art is omnipresent in nature, and the true artist is he who can bring it out.” The artist definitely brings out the art in this careful, close-up rendition of a beetle. It’s one of Dürer’s most influential and most copied nature studies. In this era, it was unheard of to single out a lowly insect as the focal point of a work of art, but Dürer’s keen, scientific interest in nature, typical of the Renaissance, inspired him to break the rules. This beetle, rendered in exquisite detail, looks heroic as he looms above the page.

Credit
Getty Open Content Program
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