Nature Methaphors in The Battle of Issus and Starry Night

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Since the beginning, nature has been one of mans many inspirations. It is used to convey emotions and bring meaning in many ways in art. During the Northern Renaissance Albrecht Altdorfer was one of the most distinguished painters known for his expressively detailed landscapes. The Battle of Issus done by Altdorfer focused on nature to further amplify Alexander’s victorious battle. Three hundred and sixty years later, the Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh creates a work that also showed how nature can bring emotion and significance to his painting Starry Night. Albrecht Altdorfer’s The Battle of Issus in one of the artist most famous works depicting the exploits of historic heroes. [1] It was created in 1529 on commission for the Munich Palace of William IV. The Battle of Issus conveys the victory of Alexander the Great over Darius of Persia that took place in 333 BCE. In an omniscient point of view Altdorfer allows the viewers to observe a full view of the whole scene. The artist used small but detailed shapes to portray the armies and the landscape. In the distance he uses atmospheric perspective to show depth in the painting by lighting the tone of the mountain tops in the distance. To heighten the historical tone of the painting, a placard written in Latin is placed over the battle field. The placard record the historical information of the number men the Persians lost and who were taken prisoner. [2]The placard’s cord hangs straight down in the middle of the victorious scene. The viewer can make out two figures on chariots spaced by an obvious gab in the middle of the battle. The figure on the right is Alexander charging at his opponent and the figure on the left is of Darius fleeing from battle. This is an important state... ... middle of paper ... ...recht Altdorfer." Gardner's Art through the Ages: A Global History. Boston, MA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2009. 632-33. Print. [3] Lubbock, Tom. "Altdorfer, Albrecht: Alexander's Victory / Battle of Issus (1529)." The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 13 Mar. 2006. Web. . [4] Murray, Ann H. "Jnl of the American Academy of Religion." The Religious Background of Vincent Van Gogh and Its Relation to His Views on Nature and Art. Web. [5] Penelope Davies, Denny Walter, Frima Hofrichter, Joseph Jacobs, Ann Roberts, and David Simon, Janson’s History of Art – The Western Tradition (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc, 7th edition, 2007)Chapter 26,Pg. 916

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