Albrecht Dürer, Landscape with a Woodland Pool, a drawing

Near Nuremberg, Germany, around AD 1496

It is generally agreed that this landscape drawing is one of the most sensitive of Dürer's portrayals of nature. It is painted with a brush in water and bodycolour. Dürer was the first artist to recognize the potential of watercolour. Indeed, his work as a landscape artist in watercolour raised the status of this medium.

On the left we see the broken trunks of pine trees rising on a grassy bank. To the right are more pine trees, their deep green tops filling the paper. In between is deep blue water which disappears into the darkening distant horizon. As the sun sets, the clouds turn a deep blue which is mirrored in the blue of the lake. Similarly, the green branches of the pine trees are balanced by the green banks around the water. Dürer's fluid brush and deep colours make it a very beautiful and harmonious depiction of restful nature.

The scene may be outside Nuremberg and was probably painted after Dürer had returned from his first visit to Italy, around 1496-97.

The drawing is unfinished at lower right where the white of the paper is clearly visible. Dürer's monogram in the upper centre was added later in another hand.

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More information


J. Rowlands with G. Bartrum, The age of Dürer and Holbein: (London, The British Museum Press, 1988)

J. Rowlands and G. Bartrum, Drawings by German artists in, 2 vols. (London, The British Museum Press, 1993)

M. Royalton-Kisch, The light of nature: landscape (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)

G. Bartrum (ed.), Albrecht Dürer and his legacy: (London and N.J., The British Museum Press and Princeton University Press, 2002)


Height: 262.000 mm
Width: 365.000 mm

Museum number

PD Sloane 5218-167



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