Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Infinite Art Tournament, Round 1: Alma-Tadema v. Altdorfer

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
1836-1912
Dutch; worked in England




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Albrecht Altdorfer
c.1480-1538
German



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Vote for the artist of your choice!  Votes go in the comments.  Commentary and links to additional work are welcome.  Polls open for one month past posting.

16 comments:

Elizabeth said...

This is a hard one. On the one hand, I love me some idealized beflowered mythical female figures, especially when done so nicely. On the other hand, I'm quite impressed with the way Altdorfer reminds me of both Dali and Escher several hundred years before the fact. Stylistically, I like the cleaner look of Alma-Tadema, but then find myself drawn into the increasingly-tiny detail of the Altdorfer scenes.

On a completely random note, I like to say "Alma-Tadema" more than I like to say "Altdorfer" dorf dorf dorf.

All things considered, I am going to have to go commercial and conventional and say Alma-Tadema this time, but it's very possible that if I'd seen these two on another day, or had Altdorfer been matched against another artist, Altdorfer quite possibly would have come out on top.

Rebel said...

Oooooh, I love them both for being so dreamy and romantic.

Alma-Tadema... I love the people's faces and the flowiness of the fabrics.

Altdorfer - those mountains and clouds are pretty kick ass.


Tough call, but I vote Alma-Tadema.

Morgan said...

This is a close one for me. I generally prefer the "intricate landscapes" more than "rooms full of people"; however, Alma-Tadema's smooth artistic style is more pleasing to the eye than Altdorfer's mild "clunkiness".

If I was an art major, I could probably convey what I was trying to say without using the term "clunkiness".

I vote Alma-Tadema.

Candida said...

I agree--this was a tough one, but I'm going Altdorfer.

This is extra surprising for me because the minute the top half of the first Alma-Tadema appeared on my Reader (and yes, that is an awesome name!), I thought, Oh, you had me at those flowers. This is going to be no contest.

But then I saw Altdorfer, and I became smitten with his details. I want a larger scan and possibly a magnifying glass. And I want the second one for my office, though it is probably bigger than any given wall there.

The woman's getting her feet washed and her hair done! There's a lovely fountain in front of her! There's another tiny figure in the garden! The colors are gorgeous.

I admit I'm not as into the subject matter of the first one, but I still think it's fascinating with all of the details.

Still, Alma-Tadema... so much gorgeousness! And the tiny barge the one maiden is looking down upon!

On the other hand, you can't compete with that floating sign with the lightbulb chain coming down from the bottom so God can illuminate the message.

Yes. Altdorfer, despite the many many charms of Alma-Tadema. (I never realized my predilection for incredibly detailed miniature architectural details in paintings would trump romantic pre-Raphaelitish stuff. Hell, I never realized anything would, for me. Interesting to learn that about myself!)

Elaine said...

I kinda hate both of these artists, but Alma-Tadema gets the vote. At least he didn't use a cast of thousands.

pfly said...

Albrecht Altdorfer! Was great with clouds and vast epic landscapes (http://www.free-photos.biz/images/architecture/buildings/albrecht_altdorfer_002.jpg) and trees too (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/Albrecht_Altdorfer_045.jpg)

Jenners said...

Alma Tadema hands down!

mrs. 5000 said...

Sorry, those foofy soft-focus romantic scenes just don't do it for me. And the Altdorfers must be just amazing in person. He's got grand sweeping panoramas AND crazy hovering cartouche action AND intricately contrived architecture. And you don't even give up your picturesque groupings of women. You just have to admire that he's obviously a complete tightass. Which I do. One for Albrecht.

Ben said...

Alma-Tadema. I love the colors in the first one and there is a certain natural liveliness to both of them.

Not to say that the Altdorfers are bad...

Voron X said...

Alta-Tadema. Yes, Altdorfer has flags, and awesome clouds, but there's something mildly queasy about his proportions (and lack of distance "blueing"). Yes, Alta-Tadema is later, and hence benefits from more refined and realistic artistic sensibilites, but I have to go with the one that is more pleasing to look at, and this Victorian Classicism really works for me.

Voron X said...

(Just don't tell
my brother!)

lamanyana said...

Altdorfer - for his skies.

Michael5000 said...

Personally, I wouldn't have to scroll down to the Altdorfers for them to get my vote; Alta-Tadema has a nice command of color, but his actual content is so twee that it kind of makes me gag. Then too, I like the Altdorfers.

An emphatic vote for Altdorfer.

DrSchnell said...

Sorry I'm late to the game on this one, but I've got to say Altdorfer. Froofy-flowery folderol has never really done it for me. I do like busy, detaily stuff like Bruegel,and this dude, and they have the added benefit of having overly melodramatic (and I mean that in a good way), dramatically lit landscapes in the background a la Albert Bierstadt, and these seem like they also probably have some crazy religious allegorical stuff going on if I could see the detail better, as these sorts of paintings are wont to do, and I like that sort of thing precisely because I don't know and don't care what it is supposed to mean.

Nichim said...

ALTDORFER! Is that Edoras?

Bridget B. said...

Altdorfer - wow, that's some crazy mixed up detail he's got going on!! Totally reminds me of the kinds of book illustrations I loved as a kid.