Albrecht Durer

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Frequently Asked Questions...

Was Albrecht Durer a Catholic or Lutheran?

I know the painting "The Four Apostles" is his support for Lutheranism and his woodcut of "Last Supper" is a Catholic scene...I'm not good when it comes to religions, so if somebody could please straighten this out for me. That would help a LOT!

Best Answer...


Actually, this question has been subject to debate for centuries.
It is thought Duerer officially remained a Catholic throughout his life, but he was certainly sympathetic to Luther's attempts to reform the Church. Some even say he died a good Lutheran.
As you mention, many of his earlier works focus on Mary and the saints, while his later, Lutheran influenced, works have more scriptural subjects.
The Reformation era was a turbulent time, and in Duerer's day it was still hoped/ believed that the differences between the Lutheran and Catholic parties would work themselves out in the end. The Lutheran Augsburg Confession makes a very strong argument that Luther's teachings were in no way inconsistent with the Catholic teachings prior to the corruption of it during the Middle Ages. Many Lutherans at this point did not consider themselves as a separate demonination, but as a reform movement within the Catholic Church.