His works were the first attempts to create a “pure” landscape painting in the history of European painting, and he was a leader of the Danube School. The landscape of Joachim Patinir’s previous work was actually a background to a painting with a religious theme. It is the landscape that is the sole protagonist in the painting of Altdorfer, such as in his earlier “Landscape with Footbridge” at the National Gallery in London. In addition to its small size, this work is remarkable for its attention to detail. Two trees are centered on the canvas in a visual composition that turns the viewer’s gaze to the Wörth Castle at the center of the painting. This leads the eye straight to the center of the composition and a dual repoussoir device is created to further orient the viewer. In spite of this, the landscape is not adorned with human figures, adding to its “purity”. The landscape is clearly depicting a particular situation (the Wörth Castle and its surroundings), but Altdorfer may have added some romantic elements to the scene in order to enhance its appeal.

By Peter