Albrecht Durer (1471 – 1528) a German painter, printmake and theorist from Nuremberg, one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance. This is reinforced by his theoretical treatise which involve principles of mathematics, perceptive and ideal proportions. Nuremberg was a prosperous and independent city with close trading relationships with Italy. Between 1494 and 1495 Durer made his first trip to Venice. He made watercolour sketches as he travelled over the Alps, these are the first pure landscapes ever produced in Western art.
Durer is often considered the father of modern watercolour painting. He mastered sophisticated watercolour painting techniques.
This is generally agreed that this landscape drawing is one of the most sensitive of Durer’s portrayals of nature.
Claude Gellee was born in the Duchy of Lorrain (1604/5 – 1682). He left around 1612 for Germany then Rome, where he became a studio assistant to the landscapist Agostino Tassi. He sketched in the Roman countryside. Ideas from the drawings he made were integrated into oil paintings finished in the studio. Claude was influenced by other northern painters such as Elsheimer, Annibale Carracci and Domenichion. In his turn Claude exerted considerable influence on landscape artistes of the 18th and 19th centuries. JMW Turner was especially indebted to Claude. In the Turner Bequest he directed that two of his works should hang with two of Claude’s in the National Gallery.
John Constable had stated, “It has been said that Lorraine is the best landscape artist in the world and this is well deserved praise. His main attribute is the mixing of splendour with quietude, colour with freshness, shadow and light.” Indeed shadow and light is the most important
L.S. Lowry (1887 – 1976). He was a rent collector before becoming a painter. In 1916, LS Lowry missed his train from Salford where he lived into Manchester. “It would be about four o’clock and perhaps there was some peculiar condition of the atmosphere or something. But as I got to the top of the steps I saw the Acme Mill; a great square red block with the cottages running in rows right up to it – and suddenly I knew what I had to paint.” His ambition was to put the industrial scene on the map, because nobody had done it – nobody had done it seriously.”
This is one of Lowry’s large scale landscape painting. Although, it is an imaginary composition, elements of the view are recognisable as real places. The image presents a generalised impression of the urban environment, dominated by smoking chimneys, factories, road, bridges and industrial wasteland. As if to emphasise the human presence in this overwhelming, blackened city. Yet it is not an ugly painting. The depth of the scene draw the viewer into and wander about the world within. Oddly, I found this painting actually with meditating quality. Also with all the smoke, this is a very clear picture.
George Shaw and Sarah Woodfine – I have looked at both as suggested in the course material too. I don’t find them particular interesting.