Friday, December 2, 2011

Altdorfer, Albrecht

Portrait of a Young Woman
c. 1522
Oil on panel
59 x 45 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Albrecht Altdorfer (c. 1480 - 1538) was a German painter and architect of the Renaissance era. His training is unknown, but his early work was influenced by Cranach and Dürer's art too was known to him through the woodcuts and engravings. His most outstanding works are biblical and historical subjects set against highly imaginative and atmospheric landscape backgrounds. He was the first European to paint forests, sunsets, and picturesque ruins, in which he represented man as part of nature, allied with trees, rocks, mountains, and clouds and often resembling them.
From 1526 until his death he was employed as town architect of Regensburg. As the superintendent of the municipal buildings he had overseen the construction of several commercial structures, such as a slaughterhouse and a building for wine storage, possibly even designing them. He was considered to be an outstanding politician of his day.