Altdorfer, Albrecht

(c. 1480-1538)
   Painter from the Danube School, active mainly in Regensburg, where he became a citizen in 1505. Little is known of Altdorfer's activities up to that year. The number of properties he owned in Regensburg attest to the fact that he had a successful career. He also played an important role in civic affairs. He was a member of the council of Regensburg in 1519, 1526, and again in 1533 when Lutheranism was officially adopted in the city. In 1526, he was appointed official architect, his charge to build wine cellars and slaughterhouses, and in 1528, he was invited to serve as mayor, an offer he is known to have refused. Altdorfer's first signed painting is the Satyr Family (1507; Berlin, Staatliche Museen), a work that shows his keen interest in the depiction of the landscape. The nude female with her back turned to the viewer recalls the nudes rendered by Giorgione. Though no concrete evidence exists, it is possible that Altdorfer may have traveled to Italy in the early years of his career, where he would have seen Italian works of this kind. By 1515, Altdorfer's style became more heroic, with larger figures, a more vivid choice of colors, and greater contrasts of light and dark. His works in the Monastery of Sankt-Florian near Linz, Austria, demonstrate this change in his style. Here, he painted a series depicting the Passion of Christ and the life of St. Sebastian. One of these works shows the Agony in the Garden,a scene with a reddish sky that forecasts the turbulent events that await Christ. The foreshortening of the apostles in the foreground again betray Altdorfer's knowledge of Venetian art, as these elements are also found in the work of Giovanni Bellini and Andrea Mantegna, though the intense, dramatic colors come from Matthias Grünewald. Sharp foreshortenings are even more prevalent in the Beating of St. Sebastian, also part of the Sankt-Florian series. In this work, the architectural background recalls the architecture of Donato Bramante, which suggests that Altdorfer may have had engravings of the architect's works, while the sculptural solidity of the figures again suggest his familiarity with Mantegna's style. By 1520, Altdorfer abandoned the use of intense color contrasts and the movement of his figures also diminished. This is exemplified by his Finding of the Body of St. Florian of c. 1520 (Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum). The subject of Altdorfer's Danube Landscape near Regensburg (c. 1522-1525; Munich, Alte Pinakothek) is simply the landscape. There are no figures or religious implications in the painting. Nature here is poeticized, as it is in one of his greatest masterpieces, the Battle of Alexander (1529; Munich, Alte Pinakothek), commissioned by Duke William IV of Bavaria. In this work, the horror of war is emphasized by the cataclysmic sky and barren setting. In spite of the large number of figures engaged in battle, it is the engulfing landscape that lends the emotional content to the work. In 1537, Altdorfer painted Lot and His Daughters (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), a Northern version of the Venetian reclining nude type. The anatomical excellence of the Venetians is here lost, particularly in the awkwardness of the female form, which confirms that Altdorfer was at his best when he focused on the landscape.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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  • ALTDORFER, Albrecht — (c. 1480 1538) Albrecht Altdorfer, one of the first true landscape painters, was born in or near Regensburg in Bavaria, where he spent most of his life, and where he was a leading member of the Danube school of painting. A man of property, he was …   Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

  • Altdorfer, Albrecht — born с 1480 died Feb. 12, 1538, Regensburg German painter and printmaker. He was the leading artist of the Danube school. Most of his works depict religious subjects, but he was one of the first artists to develop landscape painting as an… …   Universalium

  • Altdorfer, Albrecht — (ca. 1480 1538)    German painter, active at Regensburg in Bavaria, where he became town architect in 1526. He was a close student of nature and one of the earliest artists to paint landscapes containing no human figures and recounting no story.… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Altdorfer, Albrecht — (c1480 Altdorf 1538 Regensburg) (Germany)    Painter, copper engraver, draughtsman, woodcut printmaker, and architect. Studied in Austria. Specialized in religious and history subjects, but best known for his landscapes. His image of Lot and his… …   Dictionary of erotic artists: painters, sculptors, printmakers, graphic designers and illustrators

  • Altdorfer, Albrecht — ► (1480 1538) Pintor, grabador y arquitecto alemán. Obras: Susana en el baño y La batalla de Alejandro, entre otras. * * * ( 1480–12 feb. 1538, Ratisbona). Pintor y grabador alemán. Fue el artista más relevante de la escuela del Danubio. La mayor …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Altdorfer — Altdorfer, Albrecht …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Albrecht Altdorfer — (c. 1480 near Regensburg ndash; 12 February 1538 in Regensburg) was a German painter, printmaker and architect of the Renaissance era, the leader of the Danube School in southern Germany, and a near contemporary of Albrecht Dürer. He is best… …   Wikipedia

  • Altdorfer — Altdorfer, Albrecht, Maler, Architekt, Kupferstecher und Zeichner für den Formschnitt, geboren um 1480, gestorben im Februar 1538 in Regensburg, wurde 1505 Bürger dieser Stadt, begann seine künstlerische Tätigkeit als Maler, indem er Altarbilder… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Altdorfer — Altdorfer, Albrecht, geb. zu Altdorf bei Landshut 1488, Historienmaler, Kupferstecher, Formschneider u. Baumeister; er war Stadtbaumeister zu Regensburg u. st. daselbst 1538. Er ist in seinen Werken dem Albrecht Dürer ähnlich, ohne jedoch sein… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Altdorfer — (izg. ȃltdorfer), Albrecht (o.1480 1538) DEFINICIJA njemački renesansni slikar, bakrorezac, drvorezac i graditelj …   Hrvatski jezični portal

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