Albrecht Altdorfer

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Albrecht Altdorfer

German artist

Born 1480 - Died 1538

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Altdorfer became a citizen of Regensburg in 1505 and bought a house there in 1513, another in 1518 and a third in 1532; he also owned several vineyards. From 1517 he held seats on the outer and inner councils of Regensburg and represented the city on important official business. In 1526 he was appointed city architect and constructed a municipal slaughterhouse and a building for wine storage. In 1529–30 he was also charged with reinforcing certain city fortifications in response to the Turkish threat. Except for the will he dictated on the day of his death, there are no surviving papers or letters by him; nor are there contemporary writings about him. The closest thing to a portrait of Altdorfer is found in an illumination in the Freiheitenbuch (1536; Regensburg, Stadtmus.) by Hans Müelich, which represents him in minute profile among Regensburg’s city councillors.

The corpus of Altdorfer’s surviving work comprises c. 55 panels, 120 drawings, 125 woodcuts, 78 engravings, 36 etchings, 24 paintings on parchment and fragments from a mural for the bathhouse of the Kaiserhof in Regensburg. This production extends at least over the period 1504–37. Most of the early works are dated: engravings 1506–11, woodcuts 1511–13; and although after 1513 Altdorfer ceased dating his prints, most, it would seem, and most of the surviving drawings, were executed by 1522. Therefore, with the notable exception of the Battle of Alexander at Issos (1529; Munich, Alte Pin.), the works on which his reputation rests derive predominantly from a concentrated period of activity, 1506–22.

SOURCE: www.groveart.com