Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape: Revised and by Christopher S. Wood

By Christopher S. Wood

In the early 16th century, Albrecht Altdorfer promoted panorama from its conventional function as heritage to its new position because the point of interest of an image. His work, drawings, and etchings seemed nearly unexpectedly and mysteriously disappeared from view simply as unexpectedly. In Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape, Christopher S. wooden exhibits how Altdorfer remodeled what have been the mere atmosphere for sacred and old figures right into a primary venue for classy draftsmanship and idiosyncratic painterly results. even as, his landscapes provided a densely textured interpretation of that quintessentially German locus—the wooded area interior.
 
This revised and elevated moment version features a new creation, revised bibliography, and fifteen extra illustrations.

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Landscape and text Max J. Friedlander, who in  published the first book on Altdorfer, later wrote that ‘in the Netherlands we can, if put to it, trace the germination and efflorescence of landscape as an historical process – at least we are impelled to make the attempt’.  There are a number of reasons for this.  Artists used to make symbolic world maps by dividing a circle into three horizontal bands standing for sea, land and sky. Pisanello, in the mid-fifteenth century, put such a shorthand map on a bronze medal – once again, the verso of a portrait.

Roland Barthes, in a suggestive discussion of semantic bruit or noise, once characterized all art as ‘clean’, that is, free of  Giorgione, The Tempest, c. , oil on canvas,  × . Galleria dell’Accademia, Venice.  But then Barthes conceded that painting, unlike writing, could introduce artificial interference, as it were, as a code for indeterminacy. He was evidently thinking of painterly techniques such as the deliberate dissolution of outlines, smoky or fading boundaries between colour areas, or atmospheric perspective.

But Altdorfer was not a descriptive artist either. He did not seek meaning in the surfaces and textures of objects around him. Like many German painters he had another ambition: self-manifestation in the picture, through idiosyncratic line and generally through sharp-edged disregard of the criteria of optical verisimilitude.  Baxandall compared the sculptors’ gratuitous elaboration of drapery lines to the preoccupation of the Meistersinger with melodic inventiveness and originality. The stylistic ambition, which almost literally ‘flourished’ in the decades immediately preceding the German   Albrecht Altdorfer, Castle Landscape, c.

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