1499: Wild Men

Albrecht Dürer - Portrait of Oswolt Krel Artwork (1499)

The two archetypal “wild men” that frame Albrecht Dürer’s portrait of Oswolt Krel (1499) were part of a popular theme in the late Medieval period and the early Renaissance. Wild men symbolized lust, fighting spirit, and the power of the primitive. Particularly in Germany and other northern countries, they gradually grew more positive in their associations, coming to represent fearless prowess and brash lion-hearted determination.

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