Durer, Letter To Jakob Heller (1509) – Book Report/Review Example
Durer View of Painting and Printmaking Business The letter by Durer explains the performance of two businesses in the 16th century for printing and paint making around 1503. Specifically, it details the two businesses that Durer carried out in the region. Durer decided to turn his efforts to printmaking since the printing work was more profitable than paint making. The painting that Durer made had to use blue pigment ultramarine that is expensive, reducing the profitability of the art business. Durer considered it a loss after realizing that he could have made more from printmaking. The Heller’s 200-florin fee charged reduced his profitability in the business where he considers having made 400 florins. Durer argued that he could have made 1000 florins if he engaged in the printmaking business. In addition, painting was taking a long time compared to the printmaking proving the loss that Durer had to experience in art (Larry and Jeffrey 122).
Several advantages were noted for printmaking as compared to the painting. First, printmaking was cost-effective, as it required cheaper raw materials, reducing the production cost. After completion, the portraits would require regular painting that indicated the complexities that existed in the art business, taking into account the time and resources used in the artwork. For this reason, printmaking was considered efficient as it required minimal checking and had more income. In addition, it is clear from the letter that new skills in the printmaking practice attracted more customers than the painting career. Therefore, it was easier and cheaper for Durer to carry on the printmaking business as compared to the art that requires so many inputs (Larry and Jeffrey 123).
Larry, Silver and Chipps, Smith Jeffrey. The Essential Durer. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. Print.