watercolour on paper, 22.1- 22.1 cm. - Paris, Louvre.
Albrecht Dürer is the unquestionable genius of the German Renaissance and one of the most important artists of the whole history of Art. Audacious and brave, his style combines the sensitivity of Italian Art - which he had the opportunity to study during his travels to Venice - with the strenght of German tradition. But his most outstanding characteristic is his interest and love for nature -comparable to that of Leonardo da Vinci- which is evident in watercolours like “Hare” or “Grass” (both created in 1503, exhibited nowadays at the Albertina Museum in Vienna).
Despite being a small and early work (Dürer was 24 years old when he painted it), “View de Arco” is arguably one of the most important landscapes of the history of Western Art. The scene is shown under uniform illumination, without any atmospheric effect, allowing a detailed representation of the mountains, the vegetation and the architecture. It is also interesting to compare this landscape with the previous work by Shen Zhou: the landscape understood as a real element, represented without any artifices in the European example, and the clearly poetic sense shown in the work by the Eastern artist.
Text by G. Fernández, www.theartwolf.com