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280 × 210 × 25 mm
324 pages
205 illustrations, 55 in colour
01 Mar 1999
  • £25.00

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Albrecht Altdorfer Christopher S. Wood

The first independent or ‘pure’ landscapes in Western art were produced in southern Germany in the first decades of the sixteenth century. They were painted, drawn and etched by Albrecht Altdorfer of Regensburg and his only slightly less flamboyant contemporary Wolf Huber of Passau. These radical experiments in landscape appeared without advance notice and disappeared from view almost as suddenly.

Altdorfer converted outdoor settings into a theatre for stylish draughtsmanship and extravagant colour effects. At the same time, his landscapes offered a densely textured interpretation of that quintessentially German locus, the forest interior. In this revealing study Christopher S. Wood shows how Altdorfer prised landscape out of its subsidiary role as setting and background for narrative history painting and devotional works, and gave it a new, independent life of its own.

‘Christopher Woods book will immediately be recognized as a landmark in the art history of Northern Renaissance. An astonishing tour de force of scholarship, it is also written with exhilarating intellectual power.’ — Simon Schama

‘A study that is bound to become a standard work.’ — Independent on Sunday

‘The well chosen illustrations are a revelation.’ — The Times

‘Excellent illustrations . . . [and] detailed exuberant comments leave the reader in no doubt about Altdorfers brilliance and originality.’ — Anthony Grafton, The New York Review of Books

‘sumptuous’ — Daily Telegraph

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Christopher S. Wood is Professor in the Department of History of Art, Yale University.