The battle of Issus(fragment) (1529) by Albrecht Altdorfer

The battle of Issus(fragment) - Albrecht Altdorfer - 1529

Artwork Information

TitleThe battle of Issus(fragment)
ArtistAlbrecht Altdorfer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
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About The battle of Issus(fragment)

“The Battle of Issus”, a fragment of the renowned work by Albrecht Altdorfer, is a significant artifact of the Northern Renaissance, dating back to 1529. The artwork is classified within the battle painting genre and captures with striking intricacy and dynamism the chaos and engagement of warfare.

Turning to the artwork itself, one observes a detailed and bustling panorama brimming with activity and eruption. In the foreground, the meticulous arrangement of rows of soldiers engaged in battle conveys both the order and havoc of military conflict. The vibrancy of the colors, particularly in the tents and uniforms, is notable and reflects the painstaking attention to detail for which Altdorfer was renowned.

In the middle distance, an array of white tents, graphically triangular in form, are arrayed in rigid formation. This contrastingly placid sea of structures, perhaps a temporary encampment, stands in stark juxtaposition to the turmoil of battle occurring before it. The background of the artwork is dominated by an imposing cityscape, its architecture rising with gothic spires and numerous edifices packed tightly together, suggesting the significance of this locale to the unfolding narrative of the battle.

Off in the distance, the blue hues of a serene body of water contrast with the battle, albeit the presence of ships suggests its potential strategic importance. The presence of these various elements together within a single frame highlights Altdorfer’s ability to capture complexities of historical events while integrating natural and human constructions, characteristic of the Northern Renaissance’s rich and multi-layered canvases.

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