Dürer,Holbein,Cranach & Co.

Thomas Sturge Moore, Altdorfer, Londres, At the Sign of the Unicorn, 1900, p. 26

It was this burgher affluence that commissioned and inspired the art which, at Ratisbon, culminates in the work of the “Little Albrecht,” as the French have styled him by contrast with the great Dürer. Every such local German school in truth resembled a caddis-worm, building its house, choosing the little bright stones in the sand, or catching a stray shred of silk or wool borne past by the stream. So we may picture it to have worked- very industrious, very homely, very snug- always in the main bent on shielding its too soft body, but often chuckling to think how fine, how enviable a house it had made. And then follows the pathos of the result. A May-fly, that lives but a day, falls and is no more. A few works of the great lonely Dürer tower up toward the sun as on dragon wings, and Holbein seems to pause and said in the warmth and light; there is, beside, the happy shimmering innocence of Altdorfer, and the gnat-like dance of a lewd and elegant Cranach, but that is all. Thus, too, it fared with German poetry, a great lonely Goethe, a Schiller, a Heine, and a crowd of May-flies. The integrity of the race endures, and still lends aspirants the fostering strength of its virtues, prudence, industry, and application; but fortune has been blind to their great deserving; the graces that are taught by success, the felicities of genius, of these they have been stinted indeed.