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Konrad Witz
 
 
 
 
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Gothic and Early Renaissance
 
 
 
Konrad Witz
 
 
Konrad Witz, (born c. 1400, Rottweil [now in Germany]—died c. 1445, Basel or Geneva, Swiss Confederation [now Switzerland]), late Gothic Swiss painter who was one of the first European artists to incorporate realistic landscapes into religious paintings.

Little is known about Witz’s life or training, but in 1434 he entered the painters’ guild in Basel, where he worked most of his life. The Heilsspiegel altarpiece (c. 1435; now dispersed), generally agreed to be his earliest surviving work, displays numerous monumental, sculpturelike figures in small, bare rooms. In this altarpiece, such figures as the personification of “The Synagogue” are placed diagonally to the picture-plane in a simple, graceful pose, revealing Witz’s youthful ability to manipulate space, despite the panel’s inaccurate perspective.

Three panels from about 1440–43 are probably from a dispersed altarpiece. The “SS. Catherine and Mary Magdalene,” the “Meeting of Joachim and Anna,” and the “Annunciation” display a highly original handling of linear perspective, a sculptural sense of form, and a great sensitivity to the play of light upon the various textures of cloth, stone, and wood. The significance of these scenes is conveyed not through the use of the mystic symbolism prevalent in the art of northern Europe but through the faithful rendering of natural phenomena, making the scenes immediate and convincing. That aspect of Witz’s art is best exemplified by his masterpiece, “The Miraculous Draft of Fishes” (1444). In this work, Witz’s realism is so precise that he carefully distinguishes between the light reflected off the water’s surface and the light reflected off the stones beneath the shallow water. He convincingly renders the reflections of the disciples, the boat, and the buildings on the shore, as well as accurately recording in the background the landscape around Geneva.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 

Annunciation
c. 1440
Panel, 158 x 121 cm
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg



St Bartholomew
c. 1435
Wood, 100 x 68 cm
Цffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel



Christ on the Cross
1430-33
Panel, 34 x 26 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin




Saint Christopher
c. 1435
Panel, 101 x 81 cm
Цffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel




The Miraculous Draught of Fishes
1443-44
Tempera on wood, 132 x 151 cm
Musйe d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva




King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
1435
Panel, 84 x 79 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin



The Liberation of St Peter
1443-44
Panel, 132 x 154 cm
Musйe d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva




Adoration of the Magi
1443-44
Panel, 132 x 151 cm
Musйe d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva



Presentation of Cardinal de Mies to the Virgin
1443-44
Panel, 132 x 154 cm
Musйe d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva




The Synagoge
c. 1435
Wood, 86 x 80,5 cm
Цffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel

 
 
 

Joachim and Anna at the Golden Gat
 
 
 

Abishai Kneeling before David
Wing from the Mirror of Salvation altarliece from St. Leonhard, Basle
c. 1435
Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland
 
 
 

Sabobai and Benaiah
Wing from the Mirror of Salvation altarliece from St. Leonhard, Basle
c. 1435
Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland
 
 
 

Madonna and Saints in a Church
c. 1440-1445
Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy
 
 
 

 
 
 
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