Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) is a German painter, printmaker and mathematician. Starting producing prints for his publisher grandfather at the age of 15, by his mid 20th Dürer was on friendly terms with Raphael, Bellini and Da Vinci, and patronised by the Roman Emperors.
He became prominent by selling a vast number of highly detailed woodcut prints and engravings across Europe. This not only revolutionized printmaking and made Dürer rich, it allowed ordinary people to experience art (prints were cheaper to buy than oil paintings) which was a great achievement.
Dürer was an intellectual. His book on geometry, cited by Galileo and Kepler, was the first book for adults on mathematics in German! His book on human proportion showed differently constructed figures and principles by which proportions can be modified. His book on aesthetics proposed a theory of the 'ideal beauty' based on variety.
By the end of his life, Dürer came to a firm belief that human creativity is not spontaneous or 'inspired', but is built on the wealth of one's visual experience.
Study of the Hands of an Apostle Albrecht Dürer