View of the Arco Valley in the Tyrol Albrecht Durer Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The View of the Arco Valley in the Tyrol by Albrecht Durer is a landscape oil on canvas painting created in 1495. The watercolour is a depiction of the panoramic landscape of Arco Valley in the Tyrol. It is a detailed setting of houses and trees and illustrates the hills and trees typical of the Alps in Germany.

The image captures a peaceful spring morning. The serenity is expressed with the soft colours used as opposed to vibrant, intense colours. The green of the trees does not contrast sharply with the light brown colours of the pathways and roads that meander between the trees. The hills are illustrated in a muted brown colour. This is a shade lighter than the brown used on the roofs of the houses in the background area on the right side of the painting. At the top of this creative piece is a mild skyline with an off-white colour and numerous dots of brown in different shapes and sizes like different cluster sizes of clouds. The left and side of the painting are of hills that are unfinished as if the painter ran out of canvas space to finish the picture.

This increases the realism of the landscape. Durer used the gouache technique and watercolours for this painting, which is the art style he mostly used to produce his nature-based artworks. The painting’s rich and resonant pigments give the realism of the fresh and cold Alpine air. Albrecht’s landscape watercolours at this time mainly captured topography and an accurate depiction of the Alps. The artist had a deep interest in nature and uses the development of nature-based artwork as a means of developing painting skills. He uses detailed drawings to produce life-like landscapes, and the View of the Arco Valley in the Tyrol is one of the ways his great talent is unveiled. He was greatly inspired during his visit to Italy between 1494 and 1495.

Giovanni Bellini became one of his most significant influences in painting. He was also inspired to produce watercolour paintings of the picturesque landscapes of Renaissance Germany. Durer was one of the first European landscape artists to start creating landscapes as a complete painting rather than just act as a background for another subject. He created the illusion of distance by painting detailed foregrounds using vibrant colours and a contrasting background with softer dull colours. The contrast created the feeling of depth which is evident in the View of the Arco Valley in the Tyrol. The painting is currently positioned in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.