Albert & the Whale

Albrecht Dürer changed the way we saw the world. From his prints of the Apocalypse in 1498—the first works mass-produced by an artist—to his hyper-real images of animals and plants, Dürer proved art is a time-machine.

9bw

It allows us to see what we’ve done, and are about to do.

In Albert & the Whale, Philip Hoare sets out to discover why Dürer’s art endures. He encounters medieval alchemists and modernist poets, eccentric emperors and enigmatic stars. He witnesses the miraculous birth of Dürer’s fantastical rhinoceros and his hermaphroditic hare, and traces the fate of the star-crossed leviathan that the artist pursued.

And as he swims through his story, prophetic artists and downed angels ask awkward questions. What’s real or make-believe? Does art have the power to save us? 500 years on, Dürer is still waiting for the answer.

AATW_square2

 

Observer review – Albert and the Whale by Philip Hoare – his greatest work yet

 

Buy the book

 

Download Albert and the Whale source notes

Download Albert and the Whale image details

Philip’s Tweets

Philip Hoare's Twitter avatar
Philip Hoare
@philipwhale

4.30 am: the sea slows down to midsummer, grey and held down by the heat

Philip Hoare's Twitter avatar
Philip Hoare
@philipwhale

'Isn't the sea what Algy calls it: a great sweet mother? The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea... Thalatta!… t.co/3lYLfYkreG

Philip Hoare's Twitter avatar
Philip Hoare
@philipwhale

4 am: at first light the air seems like the sea, blue and translucent; I swim in the atmosphere