The German artist Albrecht Durer was not only a painter but was also proficient in engraving, printmaking, and mathematics. It was Durer who, more than any other Northern artist, was influenced and absorbed the lessons of the Italian Renaissance. Germany was at the centre of what was in effect the High Renaissance period of Northern art.
Two artists Albrecht Durer and Matthias Grunewald although contemporaries displayed differing styles in their work. Unlike Durer Grunewald's art remained steeped in the late medieval period and was not influenced by Renaissance classicism. Another German artist of this later period, Hans Holbein the Younger, is famous for his work in the English Court of Henry VIII.
The Northern Renaissance was influenced by the Reformation which questioned and weakened the power of the Catholic Church. New 15th and 16th-century ideas and discoveries changed the world forever. From the voyage of Columbus to America in 1492 and Magellan's first circumnavigation of the globe in 1519-22, proving that the Earth was round, to the previously mentioned invention of the printing press the Renaissance in Italy and, in the North, marked the passage from the medieval to the modern age.