His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Renaissance in Northern Europe ever since.
== First journey to Italy (1494-5) ==
[[किपा:Durer Young Hare.jpg|thumb|left|''Young Hare'', 1502, Watercolour and bodycolour ([[Albertina, Vienna|Albertina]]).]]
Within three months Dürer left for Italy, alone, perhaps stimulated by an outbreak of [[Black Death|plague]] in Nuremberg. He made [[Watercolor painting|watercolour]] sketches as he traveled over the Alps. Some have survived and others may be deduced from accurate landscapes of real places in his later work, for example his engraving ''Nemesis''. These are the first pure landscape studies known in Western art.<ref name="Bartrum"/>
In Italy, he went to [[Venice]] to study its more advanced artistic world.<ref name=Lee>Lee, Raymond L. & Alistair B. Fraser. (2001) ''The Rainbow Bridge'', Penn State Press. ISBN 0-271-01977-8.</ref> Through Wolgemut's tutelage, Dürer had learned how to make prints in [[drypoint]] and design [[woodcut]]s in the German style, based on the works of [[Martin Schongauer]] and the [[Housebook Master]].<ref name=Lee /> He also would have had access to some Italian works in Germany, but the two visits he made to Italy had an enormous influence on him. He wrote that [[Giovanni Bellini]] was the oldest and still the best of the artists in Venice. His drawings and engravings show the influence of others, notably [[Antonio Pollaiuolo]] with his interest in the proportions of the body, Mantegna, [[Lorenzo di Credi]] and others. Dürer probably also visited [[Padua, Italy|Padua]] and [[Mantua]] on this trip.
The evidence for this trip is not conclusive and although the theory is supported by Erwin Panofsky (Albrecht Dürer, 1943) and others, the visit has been disputed by other scholars, including Katherine Crawford Luber (Albrecht Dürer and the Venetian Renaissance, 2005).
== Return to Nuremberg (1495 - 1505) ==