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Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape

In the early sixteenth century, Albrecht Altdorfer promoted landscape from its traditional role as background to its new place as the focal point of a picture. His paintings, drawings, and etchings appeared almost without warning and mysteriously disappeared from view just as suddenly. In Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape,Christopher S. Wood shows how Altdorfer transformed what had been the mere setting for sacred and historical figures into a principal venue for stylish draftsmanship and idiosyncratic painterly effects. At the same time, his landscapes offered a densely textured interpretation of that quintessentially German locus—the forest interior.
This revised and expanded second edition contains a new introduction, revised bibliography, and fifteen additional illustrations.
“Excellent illustrations . . . [and] detailed exuberant comments leave the reader in no doubt about Altdorfer’s brilliance and originality.”—Anthony Grafton, New York Review of Books
“A study that is bound to become a standard work.”—Independent on Sunday
“Sumptuous.”—Daily Telegraph

324 pages | 62 color plates, 140 halftones | 8 1/2 x 11 | © 1993

Art: European Art

Table of Contents

1. Independent landscape
Where landscape could appear
Landscape and text
Landscape as parergon or by-work
2. Frame and work
The German artist’s career
Subject and setting
The landscape study
3. The German forest,
Two-dimensional pleasures
Germania illustrata
Outdoor worship
Wanderer, traveller
4. Topography and fiction
The topographical drawing
Style in Altdorfer’s pen-and-ink landscapes
5. The published landscape
Altdorfer’s public
’Printed drawings’
Order and disorder
Checklist of Landscapes
List of Illustrations

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