Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Bodo Brinkmann, et al.
The notion of the Alps as a magnificent natural spectacle is surprisingly recent. It was not until the eighteenth century that its craggy mountain ridges began to be seen as sublime and beautiful. Swiss landscape painter Caspar Wolf (1735–83) was one of the first to discover the then largely-unexplored Alps as a subject for art. Trained in Germany and Paris, Wolf was commissioned to produce a comprehensive series on the Swiss Alps, which he completed between 1773 and 1779. Working in his studio the artist created some 180 paintings from nature studies he had done outdoors. This publication demonstrates how he conveyed his observations according to his artistic concerns. In his dramatic compositions, paths are blocked by immense boulders, roaring streams of water and glaciers, or the view opens up to reveal giant panoramas observed by tiny, awestruck human figures.