Albert & the Whale


Albrecht Dürer changed the way we saw nature through art. From his prints in 1498 of the plague ridden Apocalypse – the first works mass produced by any artist – to his hyper-real images of animals and plants, his art was a revelation: it showed us who we are but it also foresaw our future. It is a vision that remains startlingly powerful and seductive, even now.

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 queer soul rebels, ambassadorial whales and enigmatic pop artists.  He witnesses the miraculous birth of Dürer’s fantastical rhinoceros and his hermaphroditic hare, and he traces the fate of the star-crossed leviathan that the artist pursued. And as the author swims from Europe to America and beyond, these prophetic artists and downed angels provoke awkward questions.  What is natural or unnatural?  Is art a fatal contract?  Or does it in fact have the power to save us?

This book is in a softback format and measures  12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm.




  • Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Weight: 290 g
  • Author: Philip Hoare
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Pages: 304
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9780008323325