Albrecht Altdorfer - Danube landscape near Regensburg

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Danube landscape near Regensburg
Albrecht Altdorfer (German, ca.1480-1538)
ca. 1522–25
oil on panel, 30x22 cm. (11,8x8,7 in)
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Altdorfer was the leader of the Danube School, and one of the first artists in the history of European painting to create a “pure” landscape painting. In the previous work by Joachim Patinir the landscape was nothing but the background of a religious-themed painting. In this work by Altdorfer, or in his earlier "Landscape with Footbridge" exhibited at the National Gallery in London, the landscape is the sole protagonist of the painting.

This is a small format work, painted with a remarkable attention to details. By placing two trees on the sides of the painting, Altdorfer creates a dual repoussoir device that directs the viewer's eye to the center of the composition, where a winding road leads to the Wörth Castle. However, the painting does not include any human figure, increasing the "purity" of the landscape.

Although the landscape depicts a specific location (the Wörth Castle and its surroundings), it is quite possible that Altdorfer added some "romantic" elements to enhance the beauty of the scene.

G. Fernández -

Altdorfer - Landscape with Footbridge

"Landscape with Footbridge" by Albrecht Altdorfer.

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