“Landscape with a bridge,” Albrecht Altdorfer – overview of the painting

“Landscape with a bridge,” Albrecht Altdorfer – overview of the painting
“Landscape with a bridge,” Albrecht Altdorfer - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Albrecht Altdorfer
  • Museum: National Gallery (London)
  • Year: 1518-1520

Overview of the painting :

Landscape with a bridge – Albrecht Altdorfer. 1518-1520. Wood parchment oil. 41.2 x 35.5 cm

   Albrecht Altdorfer is rightly considered an outstanding painter of the Renaissance. Several masters immediately led to the formation of his creative face. Researchers call Durer, Pacher, Kranakha. However, inspired by the achievements of others, Altdorfer was able to invent his style and, first of all, this concerns the landscape (even in works on a religious or mythological plot, the master gave first place to the landscape).

   The presented work is entirely devoted to a landscape topic. Immediately note an unusual angle – the viewer seems to be looking from the bottom up, moving several steps away from the main object. This most important element of the picture is the bridge that connects the shore and stone structure. The author does not leave a clue that would help determine what kind of back it is, but it can be assumed that in front of us is part of a castle or temple built in the Romanesque style (thick walls, narrow little windows).

   The nature of the painter, as usual, is majestic and very colorful. Mighty thick-barreled trees, steep yellow-willed rocks covering their thickets of shrubs and wild grass – the author most loved just such a nature, which is in some desolation, not touched by the hand of a person.

   You can safely guess Altdorfer through the sky – blue-blue clean expanse, without a cloud, with only small gradual neat transitions (from saturated blue to sparkling white). In the background you can notice the valley. There you can see the mountain, a lustful winding line lies a thin little that goes to the horizon.

   The color of the painter is diverse. Altdorfer was not shy about choosing a color, sometimes resorting to contrasting combinations, to the detriment of realism. That is why the picture of the master looks very bright, especially in reproduction. The original is much more modest in the saturation of the colors. Some researchers believe that in the original version, “Landscape with a Bridge” had just such a catchy flavor, but over time (a thousand years!!!) the colors faded.

   Altdorfer also distinguishes the detail of its landscapes. How exactly are the leaves, blade of grass, branches drawn here. In the foreground we see a shrub, the leaves of which are not just carefully written out, but also not evenly painted, as if the sun falls on only one part of the bush. This is a very subtle and interesting moment. Especially for the 16th century.

   Having completed the work, the author did not forget to leave his monogram, the “design” of which was borrowed from Durer. It can be seen in the upper right corner of the picture.