Albrecht Altdorfer: the mysterious master of the German Renaissance

  • Year of birth: 1480
  • Date of death: February 12, 1538
  • A country: Germany


In the history there are very few reliable facts from his biography. Researchers believe that his last name is in fact a nickname his father got when he moved to Regensburg from Altdorf. It is known that the father of the artist shortly before the birth of his son received the rights of a city dweller, which means admission to one of the city workshops or guilds. Information about the nature of the occupations Altdorfer senior is not preserved. Judging by the fact that Albrecht will easily receive the title of city architect in the future, it can be assumed that his father was also involved in construction.
Altdorfer's date of birth is also not preserved. Historians suggest that it happened around 1480. There is no information about the artist’s childhood and youth. It is known that for some reason the artist’s family left Regensburg and moved to Nuremberg. Then again there is a gap in the biography with a length of fifteen years. For these years, it takes time to learn and get a profession, about which there is no information left.
Tradition states that Altdorfer studied under Dürer. Such conclusions are made by art historians who have studied the manner of Albrecht's letter, his monogram, resembling the signature of his teacher. But the student's masterwork has not been preserved. His first signed work dates back to 1506, the work is very mature and expertly executed.
Traditionally medieval, Altdorfer makes several trips, improving his professional skills. One of the trips along the Danube played a decisive role in the direction of the creative thought of the artist, led to the creation of a whole school of painting, so called later - the Danube. During this journey, the artist discovers the beauty of nature in the south of Germany, Austria, and Hungary. This love of nature will be Altdorfer's inspiration throughout his entire creative life.
The work of the master was so new, bright, expressive and interesting that the fame of Altdorfer quickly spread throughout Germany. His customers were the Grand Dukes of Bavaria, the rich monasteries of Austria, the German princes and even the emperor. The Germans in his help could finally see all the beauty of its nature, its picturesque and powerful sound.
Among the works of Albrecht Altdorfer appeared landscapes in its pure form - it was a revolution in German painting. In his works on biblical, mythological, allegorical plots, the master also attaches great importance to the landscape, which not only acts as a decoration, but plays an equal role in the paintings.
Portraits stand out in the works of Altdorfer. The artist's ability to depict the inner beauty of a person, spirituality, to unravel the secrets of character - these are just a few parameters that have earned the artist fame.
The master's approach to writing bible plots also looks interesting. He boldly destroys all the medieval canons, and famous biblical characters "sound" in his works unusually fresh, realistic and strong.

Albrecht Altdorfer Paintings

Battle of Alexander with the Persians
The Martyrdom of St. Florian
Landscape with the Satire family
Holy night
Communion of the Apostles
Lot and his daughters
Christ on the cross
Landscape with a bridge

Watch the video: Albrecht Altdorfer-Northern Renaissance Germany (February 2020).