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Durer's Fame Exhibition opens at Duff House

3 April 2014

An exhibition charting the work and influence of one of the world’s most celebrated artists has gone on display in the North East of Scotland for the first time.  

Durer’s Fame’ which opens at Duff House today (Thursday, 3rd April), showcases the work of Albrecht Durer (1471-1528).

Durer is recognised as the most important artist of the Northern Renaissance and as one of the most celebrated artists of all time. Best known for his technical excellence and highly distinctive style as a printmaker, his work was much admired and imitated with his influence seen in artists to this day.

This special exhibition – which brings together over 30 prints, drawings and paintings from the National Galleries of Scotland’s collection will feature some of Durer’s most iconic prints – including Melancholy, Saint Jerome in his Study and Knight, Death and the Devil.

The exhibition will also explore his legacy – including his influence on the Scottish artists John Runciman (1744-1768/69) and William Bell Scott (1811-1890). Examples of their work will be on display alongside those of Italian and Netherlandish artists including Marcantonio Raimondi’s The Circumcision of Christ (from The Life of the Virgin) and Johan Wierix’sMelencolia of 1602.

As part of the exhibition, there will also be an opportunity to reflect on Durer’s continuing relevance today. Examples will range from an image of an installation of  7,000 plastic hares which filled a Nuremberg square in 2003, to a poster of German handball star Pascal Hens sporting a tattoo based on Durer’sStudy of Praying Hands.

The exhibition will also feature the masterpiece ‘ScotaO1’ by Calum Colvin (2001). Drawing on the influence of Durer’s famous engraving of Melancholy, it provides a vivid example of how contemporary artists continue to be drawn to and influenced by Durer’s work.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said;

“Durer was the defining artist of his generation and his legacy continues to be seen to this day.

“This exhibition, which displays some of his most iconic works for the first time in the North East of Scotland, explores these links in a global, European and Scottish context, providing a vivid and a fascinating insight into one of the world’s most influential artists.”

The exhibition at Duff House has been organised by the National Galleries of Scotland, in collaboration with Historic Scotland. The opening of the exhibition at Duff House follows a hugely successful run at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh in 2011 and is the first time it has been put on display outside the capital.    

Tico Seifert, Senior Curator at the Scottish National Gallery said:

“We are delighted that ‘Durer’s Fame’ is now on display at Duff House. The exhibition shows treasures from the National Galleries of Scotland, including some of the finest prints Durer ever made. It also demonstrates the lasting legacy of Durer’s art to this very day, most obvious in Calum Colvin’s Scota 01. This exhibition was highly successful during its recent showing in Edinburgh and we hope that it will be now be a great attraction in the North East of Scotland as well.”

The exhibition also marks the start of a series of events and exhibitions taking place at Duff House throughout the year as part of the Year of Homecoming.

Lorna Ewan, Head of Visitor Experience for Historic Scotland who operate the House as a visitor attraction said;

“Durer’s Fame is a great way to launch our events and exhibitions programme for 2014.

“Durer is an internationally renowned artist and visitors will be able to experience first-hand his incredible work and legacy within the context of this special exhibition.

“It marks the start of a series of events and exhibitions that will run at the House throughout the year, which will range from exhibiting the works of local and international artists to bringing to life the words of famous authors through our outdoor summer performances.”

Durer’s Fame will run at Duff House until 13th July.


Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • Duff House is operated under a partnership agreement between Historic Scotland, the National Galleries of Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council

  • Scotland welcomes the world in the Year of Homecoming 2014 providing a year-long programme of events alongside the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games. The Year of Homecoming Scotland will run until 31 December 2014 throughout the length and breadth of the country. Visitors from around the world are invited to join in a celebration of the nation’s food and drink, active pursuits, cultural heritage, nature and ancestral heritage. Homecoming Scotland 2014 is a Scottish Government initiative being led by EventScotland and VisitScotland, supported by numerous partners. To find out more visit For more on Historic Scotland’s Homecoming activities visit or tweet us using #hshomecoming.

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For further information

Iona Matheson
Senior Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858