Artist, Title, date.
external image four-apostles-1070-mid.jpg


MLA Citation
Reason to use source
  • The reason I used this source was because it explains and shows a lot of the very small details and symbolisms of he painting.
  • Durer was a northern artist from Germany who spent some time in Italy
  • while in Italy he absorbed the Italian Renaissance art traditions
  • Durer combined the traditions (northern and Italian)
  • Durer was interested in a lot of the textures and the space and making things proportional
  • from left to right St. John the evangelist, St. Peter, St. Mark, and then St. Paul
  • the painting is slightly over life size
  • his painting has lots of volumetric 3 dimensionality
  • lighted shadow
  • they seem to be going into the show or vice versa
  • the drapery of the tunics seem to be separate from the body
  • there is a lot of microscopic attention to detail
  • ugly faces with warts and wrinkles
    • this is very northern paying attention to all the imperfections of the body where the Italian renaissance was all the perfections of the body

MLA Citation
Reason to use source
  • I chose this source because it talks about what the apostles represent and the symbols that are hidden in the painting. It also talks about some of the modern history about this poem.
  • "The Four Temperaments" Wikipedia. 1/18/10. 1/18/10.
    • I chose this site because it describes the Four Temperaments in detail.
      • Choleric means to have a lot of energy and ambition
      • Phlegmatic means that the person is shy but reliable and relaxed
      • Melancholy means someone who is very creative like a poet or an author
      • Sanguine means to like making new friends
  • john the evangelist represents the sanguine temperament meaning hopeful, optimistic, and confident and is holding the open book
  • St. Peter represents the phlegmatic temperament meaning not easily excited to action or display of emotion; apathetic; sluggish and is holding a large gold key
  • St. Mark represents the choleric temperament meaning extremely irritable or easily angered; irascible and he is holding the scroll
  • St. Paul represents the melancholy temperament meaning a gloomy state of mind, esp. when habitual or prolonged; depression and is holding a book and a sword
  • this painting is currently in Munich but Nuremberg is still fighting for it since 1806.

MLA Citation
Reason to use source
  • I choose this site because it talks about the artist Durer himself.
  • Durer was born in Nuremberg
  • he traveled to Italy twice in his life
  • while in Italy he learned the Italian renaissance traditions
  • he combined norther and Italian styles together
  • he was an artist at 13


Description of the Image/story
  • This is an image of four of the most famous apostles John the evangelist, St. Peter, St. Mark, and St, Paul. This painting has lots of symbolism as well. Each person represents a temperament john is sanguine, St. Peter is phlegmatic, St. Mark is choleric, and St. Paul is melancholy. Other symbols in the painting are the open book held by john, the gold key held by St. peter, the scroll held by St. Mark, and the sword and closed book held by St. Paul. All these mini symbols are part of the representation of the temperaments. This painting was finished in 1526. This was Durer's last large piece before he died. It was obtained by Elector Maximilian in 1627 and was moved to Munich and since 1806 Nuremburg has been trying to get it back.

Discussion of Humanist Themes
  • There are a few themes of the Renaissance that can be seen in this masterpiece. For one, it has some of the most famous and brightest minds of that time that helped propel Europe into the Renaissance times in St. Peter, St. Mark, St. Paul and John. The humanist themes are the detailed parts of the paintings. Such as the robes and faces, especially the expressions. As Chase stated above the other themes in this painting are choleric, melancholy, and sanguine and phlegmatic. These all were very important to people during these times and helped the painting become an instant masterpiece. For clarification, if needed, choleric means to have a lot of energy and ambition; sanguine means to like making new friends and having parties; melancholy means someone who is very creative like a poet, author or painter and finally the phlegmatic means that the person is shy but reliable and relaxed. The open book, held by John, is the symbol for sanguine, the key, held by St. Peter, is the symbol for phlegmatic, the sword, held by St. Paul, is the symbol for melancholy and finally the scroll, held by St. Mark, is the symbol for choleric.