Albrecht Dürer was one of the key influences to John as he studied the northern European painting style and techniques. In later years this influence was to re-establish itself as the primary driver behind John's movement to experiment with how he applied paint to canvas.
At the age of 13 Dürer was apprenticed to Michel Wolgemut, the leading Nuremberg painter of his day. Wolgemut ran a large workshop producing many works of art and woodcuts for books. Dürer traveled throughout Western Germany learning his trade from masters in Strasberg, Colmar and Basel, perfecting his techniques in the German tradition of the times.
In 1495 Dürer returned to Nuremberg and opened his own workshop. His journey had led him to study Italian artists and grow his sense of creative purpose. His first great success came with a series of fifteen woodcuts known as the Revelation of St. John Series. It was these woodcuts that gave Dürer his first taste of fame, and served as guiding influence for John as he considered how to best translate the process of removing material from plates and panels to the application of paint onto canvas.