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Albrecht Altdorfer

Albrecht Altdorfer

(c.1480 - 1538)
Born: Regensburg, Germany
Style: Northern Renaissance
Famous Works:
  • Landscape with a Footbridge (1518-20)
  • Christ Taking Leave of his Mother (c. 1520)
  • Battle of Alexander at Issus (1529)
The paintings of Albrecht Altdorfer were among the first works of the period to provide such a marked emphasis on landscape. Altdorfer's passion for landscapes and small details came about in 1511 when he ventured on the Danube across the Austrian Alps. He became a main representative of the Danube style, and was instrumental in the development of what is known as pure landscape, in which the landscape accounts for the entire focus of the painting. There is evidence that the tradition of landscape painting goes back thousands of years, but by Altdorfer's time, the tradition had been long lost. For Altdorfer, Nature was of the utmost concern, even though it had ordinarily been considered a background element. The landscapes in Altdorfer's canvases are depicted in great detail and bold color, the artist often using the rising or setting sun to justify the liberal use of expressive color. Beyond painting, much of the artist's work included drawings, sketches and engravings. These works also reflect a view of the world in which trees, rivers and mountains are of paramount importance.
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