The Belvedere owns internationally outstanding works of Late Gothic sculpture and panel painting, now being shown as part of the permanent exhibition in the west wing of the Upper Belvedere. They offer an overview of the major artistic developments in the International Style from around 1400 to the early sixteenth century.
The prelude to the presentation takes the shape of a sculpture gallery, with works by the Master of Grosslobming, who around 1400 was one of the leading sculptors in the International Gothic Style and probably active in Vienna. The Master of the Albrecht Altarpiece is among the most important Viennese panel painters of the next generation. His depiction of the Annunciation of the Angel to Joachim (c. 1435/50) is a remarkably early example of an artist capturing a phenomenon of light in nature. TheZnaim Altar is striking in its monumentality and powers of expression. It was probably made in Vienna in the 1440s and still shows the original colouration. Faithful rendering of detail and a harrowing depiction of the Passion of Christ also characterise the large-format Crucifixion panel by Conrad Laib of 1449, one of the major works of this painter, who was active in Salzburg.
Michael Pacher and Rueland Frueauf the Elder are among the greatest artist personalities of the Late Gothic era towards the end of the fifteenth century. Their approach shows how individual and innovative the response was in Austria to the latest innovations in European painting, not only the detailed realism of the Dutch, but also the development of central perspective in Italy.
A highlight of the collection presentation can be experienced in the panels of the former high altar of the Salzburg Stadtpfarrkirche (City Parish Church) by Michael Pacher. It was probably the largest and most valuable of the famous Gothic winged altarpieces.
A similar monumental effect is achieved in the altar panels by Rueland Frueauf the Elder, which must also have been commissioned for a Salzburg church. The new mounting of the pictures in the original arrangement gives a vivid idea of the dimensions of this mighty work for the altar.
A representative of early sixteenth-century painting is seen in the Carinthian painter Urban Görtschacher; characteristics of the Renaissance already are already evident in his work. The artist bases his interpretation of the Legend of Susanna , c. 1520, on a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer.
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