German Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1480-1538
Albrecht Altdorfer (c. 1480 near Regensburg ?C 12 February 1538 in Regensburg) was a German painter, printmaker and architect of the Renaissance era, the leader of the Danube School in southern Germany, and a near-contemporary of Albrecht D??rer. He is best known as a significant pioneer of landscape in art.
He most often painted religious scenes, but is mainly famous as the first frequent painter of pure landscape, and also compositions dominated by their landscape. Taking and developing the landscape style of Lucas Cranach the Elder, he shows the hilly landscape of the Danube valley with thick forests of drooping and crumbling firs and larches hung with moss, and often dramatic colouring from a rising or setting sun. His Landscape with footbridge (National Gallery, London) of 1518-20 is claimed to be the first pure landscape in oil.  He also made many fine finished drawings, mostly landscapes, in pen and watercolour. His best religious scenes are intense, sometimes verging on the expressionistic, and often depict moments of intimacy between Christ and his mother, or others. His most famous religious artwork is the The Legend of St. Sebastian and the Passion of Christ that decorated the altar in the St. Florian monastery in Linz, Austria. He often distorts perspective to subtle effect. His donor figures are often painted completely out of scale with the main scene, as in paintings of the previous centuries. He also painted some portraits; overall his painted oeuvre was not large.
Communion of the Apostles
Oil on wood, 42 x 32,5 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin