The Danube School or Donau School (German: Donauschule or Donaustil) was a circle of painters of the first third of the 16th century in Bavaria and Austria (mainly along the Danube valley). Many were also innovative printmakers, usually in etching. They were among the first painters to regularly use pure landscape painting, and their figures, influenced by Matthias Grünewald, are often highly expressive, if not expressionist. They show little Italian influence and represent a decisive break with the high finish of Northern Renaissance painting, using a more painterly style that was in many ways ahead of its time. According to Alfred Stange, Albrecht Altdorfer and Wolfgang Huber were two of the central most figures within the Danube School. Altdofer was the artist that created most of the artworks associated with the Danube School. The term "Danube School was most likely not what these groups of artist called themselves but a name that derived hundreds of years after a man by the name of Theodore von Frimmel was observing a painting in 1892 in the Danube region around Regensburg, Germany. When artist Lucas Cranach's art work was recognized to have stylistic elements of the "Danube" the name "The Danube School" began to take a deeper meaning.
"The river valleys of Austria and western Bavaria have often been praised as the land of the 'Beautiful Danube' and not in just song but in the pictorial arts as well." (Snyder, James)
Rugged mountain terrain, towering fir trees and dramatic lighting effects of sunset and dawn are the main characteristics of the Danube School. Other elements that distinguish Danube School artworks is the prominence of nature and how it is represented through these pieces of art as well as the human figure in these natural elements and human events that happen within nature.
Of all the artists within the Danube School, Albrecht Altdorfer is one that has mastered the landscapes of the Danube. His painting, Danube Landscape has been dated between 1520 and 1525 which is a result from Altdorfer's mature years capturing the Danube landscapes.
Among its members were:
Lucas Cranach the Elder had a major influence on the Danube School and is occasionally considered a member of the group.
The year 1553 in art involved some significant events and new works.Albrecht Altdorfer
Albrecht Altdorfer (c. 1480 – 12 February 1538) was a German painter, engraver and architect of the Renaissance working in Regensburg, Bavaria. Along with Lucas Cranach the Elder and Wolf Huber he is regarded to be the main representative of the so-called Danube School setting biblical and historical subjects against landscape backgrounds of expressive colours. As an artist also making small intricate engravings he is seen to belong to the Nuremberg Little Masters.Augustin Hirschvogel
Augustin Hirschvogel (1503 – February 1553) was a German artist, mathematician, and cartographer known primarily for his etchings. His thirty-five small landscape etchings, made between 1545 and 1549, assured him a place in the Danube School, a circle of artists in sixteenth-century Bavaria and Austria.Culture of Austria
Austrian culture has been influenced by its past and present neighbours: Italy, Poland, Germany, Hungary, and Bohemia.German Renaissance
The German Renaissance, part of the Northern Renaissance, was a cultural and artistic movement that spread among German thinkers in the 15th and 16th centuries, which developed from the Italian Renaissance. Many areas of the arts and sciences were influenced, notably by the spread of Renaissance humanism to the various German states and principalities. There were many advances made in the fields of architecture, the arts, and the sciences. Germany produced two developments that were to dominate the 16th century all over Europe: printing and the Protestant Reformation.
One of the most important German humanists was Konrad Celtis (1459–1508). Celtis studied at Cologne and Heidelberg, and later travelled throughout Italy collecting Latin and Greek manuscripts. Heavily influenced by Tacitus, he used the Germania to introduce German history and geography. Eventually he devoted his time to poetry, in which he praised Germany in Latin. Another important figure was Johann Reuchlin (1455–1522) who studied in various places in Italy and later taught Greek. He studied the Hebrew language, aiming to purify Christianity, but encountered resistance from the church.
The most significant German Renaissance artist is Albrecht Dürer especially known for his printmaking in woodcut and engraving, which spread all over Europe, drawings, and painted portraits. Important architecture of this period includes the Landshut Residence, Heidelberg Castle, the Augsburg Town Hall as well as the Antiquarium of the Munich Residenz in Munich, the largest Renaissance hall north of the Alps.Jörg Breu the Elder
Jörg Breu the Elder (c. 1475–1537), of Augsburg, was a painter of the German Danube school. He was the son of a weaver.
He journeyed to Austria and created several multi-panel altarpieces there in 1500–02, such as the Melk Altar (1502). He returned to Augsburg in 1502 where he became a master. He travelled to Italy twice, in ca. 1508 and in 1514/15.
After his death in 1537, his son, Jörg Breu the Younger continued to lead his Augsburg workshop until his own death 10 years later.Landscape painting
Landscape painting, also known as landscape art, is the depiction of landscapes in art – natural scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers, and forests, especially where the main subject is a wide view – with its elements arranged into a coherent composition. In other works, landscape backgrounds for figures can still form an important part of the work. Sky is almost always included in the view, and weather is often an element of the composition. Detailed landscapes as a distinct subject are not found in all artistic traditions, and develop when there is already a sophisticated tradition of representing other subjects.
The two main traditions spring from Western painting and Chinese art, going back well over a thousand years in both cases.
The recognition of a spiritual element in landscape art is present from its beginnings in East Asian art, drawing on Daoism and other philosophical traditions, but in the West only becomes explicit with Romanticism.
Landscape views in art may be entirely imaginary, or copied from reality with varying degrees of accuracy. If the primary purpose of a picture is to depict an actual, specific place, especially including buildings prominently, it is called a topographical view. Such views, extremely common as prints in the West, are often seen as inferior to fine art landscapes, although the distinction is not always meaningful; similar prejudices existed in Chinese art, where literati painting usually depicted imaginary views, while professional artists painted real views.The word "landscape" entered the modern English language as landskip (variously spelt), an anglicization of the Dutch landschap, around the start of the 17th century, purely as a term for works of art, with its first use as a word for a painting in 1598. Within a few decades it was used to describe vistas in poetry, and eventually as a term for real views. However the cognate term landscaef or landskipe for a cleared patch of land had existed in Old English, though it is not recorded from Middle English.List of art movements
See Art periods for a chronological list.This is a list of art movements in alphabetical order. These terms, helpful for curricula or anthologies, evolved over time to group artists who are often loosely related. Some of these movements were defined by the members themselves, while other terms emerged decades or centuries after the periods in question.Michael Ostendorfer
Michael Ostendorfer (1490/1494, Ostendorf in Swabia, or Ostendorf in Hemau - December 1559, Regensburg) was a German painter, graphic artist and xylographer. Stylistically, he belongs to the Danube school and probably trained with Albrecht Altdorfer.Nazarene movement
The epithet Nazarene was adopted by a group of early 19th century German Romantic painters who aimed to revive honesty and spirituality in Christian art. The name Nazarene came from a term of derision used against them for their affectation of a biblical manner of clothing and hair style.Neo-Fauvism
Neo-Fauvism was a poetic style of painting from the mid-1920s proposed as a challenge to Surrealism.The magazine Cahiers d'Art was launched in 1926 and its writers mounted a challenge to the Surrealist practice of automatism by seeing it not in terms of unconscious expression, but as another development of traditional artistry. They identified a group of artists as the exponents of this and termed them Neo-Fauves.Although these artists were later mostly forgotten, the movement had an effect of disillusioning the Surrealist group with the technique of graphic automatism as a revolutionary means of by-passing conventional aesthetics, ideology and commercialism.Neo-Fauvism has been seen as the last trend within painting that could be marketed as a coherent style.Neo-expressionism
Neo-expressionism is a style of late modernist or early-postmodern painting and sculpture that emerged in the late 1970s. Neo-expressionists were sometimes called Transavantgarde, Junge Wilde or Neue Wilden ('The new wild ones'; 'New Fauves' would better meet the meaning of the term). It is characterized by intense subjectivity and rough handling of materials.Neo-expressionism developed as a reaction against conceptual art and minimal art of the 1970s. Neo-expressionists returned to portraying recognizable objects, such as the human body (although sometimes in an abstract manner), in a rough and violently emotional way, often using vivid colors. It was overtly inspired by German Expressionist painters, such as Emil Nolde, Max Beckmann, George Grosz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, James Ensor and Edvard Munch. It is also related to American Lyrical Abstraction painting of the 1960s and 1970s, The Hairy Who movement in Chicago, the Bay Area Figurative School of the 1950s and 1960s, the continuation of Abstract Expressionism, New Image Painting and precedents in Pop Painting.Pointillism
Pointillism () is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image.
Georges Seurat and Paul Signac developed the technique in 1886, branching from Impressionism. The term "Pointillism" was coined by art critics in the late 1880s to ridicule the works of these artists, and is now used without its earlier mocking connotation. The movement Seurat began with this technique is known as Neo-impressionism. The Divisionists, too, used a similar technique of patterns to form images, though with larger cube-like brushstrokes.Superflat
Superflat is a postmodern art movement, founded by the artist Takashi Murakami, which is influenced by manga and anime. It is also the name of a 2001 art exhibition, curated by Murakami, that toured West Hollywood, Minneapolis and Seattle.Superstroke
Superstroke is a term used for a contemporary art movement with its origins in South Africa. Superstroke is one of the influential art movements regarding African modernism and abstraction. The word "Superstroke" implies the super expressive brush stroke. The Superstroke art movement was initially founded as a reaction to the impact that the Superflat art movement, founded by Takashi Murakami had on modern contemporary art.Synthetism
Synthetism is a term used by post-Impressionist artists like Paul Gauguin, Émile Bernard and Louis Anquetin to distinguish their work from Impressionism. Earlier, Synthetism has been connected to the term Cloisonnism, and later to Symbolism. The term is derived from the French verb synthétiser (to synthesize or to combine so as to form a new, complex product).
Paul Gauguin, Émile Bernard, Louis Anquetin, and others pioneered the style during the late 1880s and early 1890s.
Synthetist artists aimed to synthesize three features:
The outward appearance of natural forms.
The artist’s feelings about their subject.
The purity of the aesthetic considerations of line, colour and form.In 1890, Maurice Denis summarized the goals for synthetism as,
It is well to remember that a picture before being a battle horse, a nude woman, or some anecdote, is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order.The term was first used in 1877 to distinguish between scientific and naturalistic impressionism, and in 1889 when Gauguin and Emile Schuffenecker organized an Exposition de peintures du groupe impressioniste et synthétiste in the Café Volpini at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. The confusing title has been mistakenly associated with impressionism. Synthetism emphasized two-dimensional flat patterns, thus differing from impressionist art and theory.The Battle of Alexander at Issus
The Battle of Alexander at Issus (German: Alexanderschlacht) is a 1529 oil painting by the German artist Albrecht Altdorfer (c. 1480–1538), a pioneer of landscape art and a founding member of the Danube school. It portrays the 333 BC Battle of Issus, in which Alexander the Great secured a decisive victory over Darius III of Persia and gained crucial leverage in his campaign against the Persian Empire. The painting is widely regarded as Altdorfer's masterpiece, and is one of the most famous examples of the type of Renaissance landscape painting known as the world landscape, which here reaches an unprecedented grandeur.
Duke William IV of Bavaria commissioned The Battle of Alexander at Issus in 1528 as part of a set of historical pieces that was to hang in his Munich residence. Modern commentators suggest that the painting, through its abundant use of anachronism, was intended to liken Alexander's heroic victory at Issus to the contemporary European conflict with the Ottoman Empire. In particular, the defeat of Suleiman the Magnificent at the Siege of Vienna may have been an inspiration for Altdorfer. A religious undercurrent is detectable, especially in the extraordinary sky; this was probably inspired by the prophecies of Daniel and contemporary concern within the Church about an impending apocalypse. The Battle of Alexander at Issus and four others that were part of William's initial set are in the Alte Pinakothek art museum in Munich.Wolf Huber
Wolf Huber (c. 1485 – June 3, 1553) was an Austrian painter, printmaker, and architect, a leading member of the Danube School.World landscape
The world landscape, a translation of the German Weltlandschaft, is a type of composition in Western painting showing an imaginary panoramic landscape seen from an elevated viewpoint that includes mountains and lowlands, water, and buildings. The subject of each painting is usually a Biblical or historical narrative, but the figures comprising this narrative element are dwarfed by their surroundings.
The world landscape first appeared in painting in the work of the Early Netherlandish painter Joachim Patinir (c. 1480–1524), most of whose few surviving paintings are of this type, usually showing religious subjects, but commissioned by secular patrons. "They were imaginary compilations of the most appealing and spectacular aspects of European geography, assembled for the delight of the wealthy armchair traveler", giving "an idealized composite of the world taken in at a single Olympian glance".The compositional type was taken up by a number of other Netherlandish artists, most famously Pieter Bruegel the Elder. There was a parallel development by Patinir's contemporary Albrecht Altdorfer and other artists of the Danube school. Although compositions of this broad type continued to be common until the 18th century and beyond, the term is usually only used to describe works from the Low Countries and Germany produced in the 16th century. The German term Weltlandschaft was first used by Eberhard Freiherr von Bodenhausen in 1905 with reference to Gerard David, and then in 1918 applied to Patinir's work by Ludwig von Baldass, defined as the depiction of "all that which seemed beautiful to the eye; the sea and the earth, mountains and plains, forests and fields, the castle and the hut".