HISTORY OF LANDSCAPE GENRE DEVELOPMENT (part 2)
Landscape motifs began to play a more important role during the High Renaissance. Many artists began to carefully study nature. Having abandoned the usual construction of spatial plans in the form of wings, piling up parts that are inconsistent in scale, they turned to scientific developments in the field of linear perspective. Now the landscape, presented as a whole picture, is becoming an essential element of artistic plots. So, in the altar compositions, which the painters most often referred to, the landscape looks like a scene with human figures in the foreground.
Despite such obvious progress, until the sixteenth century, artists included landscape details in their works only as a backdrop for a religious scene, genre composition or portrait. The clearest example of this is the famous portrait of Mona Lisa (c. 1503, Louvre, Paris), painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
The great painter with remarkable skill conveyed on his canvas the inextricable link between man and nature, showed harmony and beauty, which for many centuries now have made the audience freeze in admiration before the “Mona Lisa”.
Behind the back of a young woman, boundless expanses of the universe open: mountain peaks, forests, rivers and seas. This magnificent landscape is confirmed by the idea that the human person is as versatile and complex as the natural world. But people are not able to comprehend the many secrets of the surrounding world, and this as if confirms a mysterious smile on the lips of the Mona Lisa.
Gradually, the landscape went beyond other art genres. This was facilitated by the development of easel painting. In small-sized paintings by the Dutch master I. Patiner and the German artist A. Altdorfer, the landscape begins to dominate the scenes shown in the foreground.
Many researchers consider Albrecht Altdorfer to be the founder of German landscape painting. Small human figures on his canvas “Forest landscape with the battle of St. George ”(1510, Old Pinakothek, Munich) are lost among mighty tree trunks, whose powerful crowns obscure the earth from sunlight.
Later written “Danube Landscape” (c. 1520-1525, Old Pinakothek, Munich) and “Landscape with Wert Castle” (c. 1522-1530, Old Pinakothek, Munich) indicate that now the image of nature is the main and, probably , the artist’s only task.