ARTIST MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
Hatje Cantz

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.75 x 11.75 in. / 320 pgs / 120 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of print

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2011 p. 66   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9783775727617 TRADE
List Price: $85.00 CDN $100.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Basel, Switzerland
Kunstmuseum, 03/06/11-07/03/11

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HATJE CANTZ

Konrad Witz

Text by Bodo Brinkmann.

Konrad Witz (ca. 1400-1446) counts among the most radical innovators of painting in the first half of the fifteenth century. While his achievements testify to his knowledge of the Flemish <I>ars nova</I> of his time, they at the same time reveal the extraordinary originality of Witz's hand. The uncontested highlight of his work is the Geneva <I>Saint Peter Altarpiece</I> (1444), which features the New Testament scene of the "Miraculous Draft of Fishes" (above) embedded in a lifelike view of Lake Geneva—the first topographically accurate, identifiable landscape in the history of German painting. Featured image and caption are reproduced from <a href="9783775727617.html">Konrad Witz</a>.Perhaps the greatest painter of water there has ever been, the German Renaissance artist Konrad Witz (circa 1400 - 1446), was a contemporary of Jan Van Eyck and Uccello, and shared their fervor for perspective, bringing similarly magical dimensionality to his treatment of surface without aspiring to their extremes of realism. In his two famous paintings, "The Miraculous Draught of Fishes" (1444), and the earlier "Saint Christopher" (circa 1435), Witz is able to make water both serene and eerie, tangible and evanescent, all depth and surface simultaneously; "The Draught of Fishes," which uses Lake Geneva as a backdrop for a scene of Peter fishing, is also notable for being the first topographically accurate landscape in the history of German painting. Witz introduced Netherlandish influences into Germany and Switzerland (where he relocated in 1443), and while his own style shows its influence, echoes of a spookier and more enigmatic medievalism abound, distinguishing him from all of his contemporaries. As the U.K. Guardian's Jonathan Jones wrote in 2009, "Witz is one of the great discoveries awaiting anyone who steps away from the high road of western art history, from the famous names of the Italian Renaissance and Flemish tradition, to discover what painters in central Europe were up to at the end of the middle ages." Reproducing all of the artist's extant works across 120 color plates, this monograph is the first thorough examination of Witz's magnificent oeuvre.

Konrad Witz (ca. 1400-1446) counts among the most radical innovators of painting in the first half of the fifteenth century. While his achievements testify to his knowledge of the Flemish ars nova of his time, they at the same time reveal the extraordinary originality of Witz's hand. The uncontested highlight of his work is the Geneva Saint Peter Altarpiece (1444), which features the New Testament scene of the "Miraculous Draft of Fishes" (above) embedded in a lifelike view of Lake Geneva—the first topographically accurate, identifiable landscape in the history of German painting. Featured image and caption are reproduced from Konrad Witz.

Konrad Witz

STATUS: Out of print | 00/00/00

For assistance locating a copy, please see our list of recommended out of print specialists

FROM THE BOOK
"It was with quite some brilliance that the painter captured the consistency of the water which covers more than half of the surface. The foremost edge of the scene depicts the gradual transition from stony shore to shallow lake, the ground shimmering through clearly at first and then ever more indistinctly. A darker surface slightly agitated by Peter and the boat is followed by calmer waters. The Sea of Galilee stretches out beyond the boat and to its right is a glassy-smooth plain in which the fishermen as well as the houses and cliffs on the shore are reflected. The painter astonishes us with the naturalism of even the smallest details, for example the bubble in the foreground. In the rendering of the water's surface he has moreover succeeded in suggesting spatial depth, for which there is no adequate comparison in the panel painting of his day…"

Katharina Georgi, excerpted from the chapter, "The Saint Peter Altarpiece in Geneva" in Konrad Witz.

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