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Artist of the Reformation: The Story of Albrecht Durer

by Joyce McPherson
112 pages, Biography/History
Reviewed by Nienna

Interesting, historical read with excellent morals.

Plot

Note: This book is subtitled "The Story of Albrecht Durer."

Born to a goldsmith and the daughter of a goldsmith, Albrecht Durer was trained in art from an early age, and taught by his father to make Jesus his foundation in art. As he became an established artist, Durer continued his childhood search for true beauty, and for the truth of the scriptures.

Morality

Very good. Durer does his work for God's glory and takes his principles from the Bible. A minor character steals at one point, and this is shown as wrong, though Durer chooses to forgive him rather than pressing charges.

Spiritual Content

Durer's parents are devout, strong Christians who raise their children to serve God. The focus of the book is the growth of Durer's faith, so there are many mentions of God, the Bible, Jesus, and the Catholic Church. The Bible is particularly revered and held as being true above all else. The book shows how Durer's life ties in with the Reformation, particularly in his relationships with Erasmus and Melanchthon.

Violence

Several of Durer's siblings died of illness. He almost dies of the plague as a boy. Characters die of old age. Main characters are threatened with excommunication. Jesus' crucifixion is briefly referenced.

Drug and Alcohol Content

None.

Sexual Content

None in the book, but if the reader goes on to study Durer further, they should be aware that he painted some nudes.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

None.

Conclusion

Based on Durer's own writings in journals, letters, and books, Artist of the Reformation is a slightly fictionalized biography of a leading intellectual of the sixteenth century. This book is written simply enough to be understood by young children, yet full of deep spiritual and philosophical discussions that make it helpful to any reader. To anyone interested in art, the Renaissance, the Reformation, beauty, printing, history, teaching, or theology, I recommend this book. It has more than twenty illustrations by Durer and well over a score of direct quotes from his writing.

Fun Score: 4
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

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