Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) was a son of a goldsmith born in Nuremberg in 1471, and as a child, he worked in his father's workshop. At the age of 15, Dürer became an apprentice of Michael Wolgemut, the leading woodcut artist in Nuremberg.
Dürer was heavily influenced by the Italian renaissance. During his teachings, he discussed the theory of perspectives and object measurements, on which he later went on to write two books.
Returning home after his Italian travels, he married Agnes Frey, a patrician's daughter from Nuremberg. The couple remained childless. She worked closely with her husband, sold his works on the market, and ran the workshop in his absence. Dürer probably received more income from the sale of engravings and woodcuts than from painting.
His last book, printed shortly after Dürer's death, was the first work to discuss the problems of comparative and differential anthropometry. It is dedicated to the proportions of the human body to enable artists to draw human features as close as possible to nature. The book includes around four parts and 150 illustrations created on flat woodcut profiles. Dürer appeared to be familiar with the manuscript written by Leon Battista Alberti, who also explored the body's proportions.
Book I, focused on human body proportions. Book II explains the use of a measuring stick with length about 1/6 of the body, to help human figure to be drawn realistically. Book III demonstrates how the body proportions can variate, and Book IV explains movements.
German language of that time was missing terminology related to the geometric and anatomical figures, so Dürer had to invent a lot of new terms. Dürer's work was reprinted without any changes for a long time.