Dürer was one of the greatest figures of the Northern Renaissance....
In the first half of his life, Dürer made a series of exquisite self-portraits. The earliest was made in 1484, when the artist was a precocious boy of 13. It was drawn in silverpoint. Sometime later, he wrote in the upper right-hand corner: "This I have drawn from myself from the looking-glass, in the year 1484, when I was still a child -- Albrecht Dürer." The drawing was made at about the time Dürer became an apprentice goldsmith in his father's jewelry shop in Nuremberg. Much to his father's disappointment, he would leave the goldsmith shop about a year later to become an apprentice to the prominent Nuremberg artist and printmaker Michael Wolgemut. But the early experience of working with the tools in the goldsmith shop would prove invaluable to Dürer's later work as an engraver.