Altdorfer, Albrecht

Image Landscape with a Footbridge

c.1518-20; Oil on vellum and wood, 42.1 x 35.5 cm; National Gallery, London

One of the first landscapes in the history of European painting.

A wooden bridge spans a river. In the distance are mountains, and then a church spire and the houses of a village. The details of the composition may be based on the topography of specific locations in the Danube valley, but the landscape is probably not intended as a view of a particular place.

This picture is a very early example by a Western European artist of an independent landscape painted without figures. A second landscape by Altdorfer in Munich (Alte Pinakothek) is also without figures; the present picture possibly dates from about 1518-20 and may be the earlier of the two.

14 Oct 2002, Nicolas Pioch - Top - Up - Info
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