Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Semi-Finals: Altdorfer v. Balla!

Albrecht Altdorfer


The first landscape painter in the modern sense and the leading figure of the Danube School, Altdorfer introduced landscape as a theme of its own in art. Unlike most of his German contemporaries, he painted few portraits, preferring to focus on the virgin forest or to use it as a setting for both secular and religious subjects. With their gestures, facial expressions, and color distorted for dramatic and emotional ends, his figures complemented his landscapes, themselves alive with an unusual sense of character. - The Getty
  • Defeated Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema by a single vote in Round 1.
  • Crushed American minimalist sculpter Carl Andre in Round 2.
  • Spent a year and a half subduing Switzerland's Jacques-Laurent Agasse in Round 3.
  • Edged Fra Angelico by a two-vote swing in Round 4.  YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!

Giacomo Balla
On the stage of art history, when the spotlight shines on Futurism, Giacomo Balla is always left rather in the shadows. ....[But] Balla was instinctively a modernist and a futurist long before actually signing a pile of manifestos. He was an artist animated by an omnivorous curiosity that led him to take an interest in science and technology, photography, cinema and anything else that was invented. More than anyone else, it was Balla who was the visual drafter of the principles of the movement, the alchemist who transformed them into images of such explosive iconic power. - Italica
  • Defeated Hans Baldung in Round 1
  • Edged by Balthus in Round 2 by a single vote.  YOUR VOTE COUNTS! 
  • Got by John James Audubon in Round 3.
  • Beat Basquiat quite soundly in Round 4.


Elizabeth said...


pfly said...

I'm pleased that Balla made it this far, but can't quite for him over Altdorfer: Altdorfer.

pfly said...

Oop, meant to say "can't quite *vote* for him...". Also, let me repost this weird and fun Altdorfer:

And, just to be fair, this Balla, which, being in the Albright-Knox imprinted itself upon me brain from a young age:

Morgan said...

Having a really hard time here. I like both, I like them both a lot, but I'm not head-over-heels for either. If Fra Angelico had won the last round, this would have been a lot easier.

Let's go Altdorfer.

chuckdaddy said...

Altdorfer to the (sort of) sweet 16.

mrs.5000 said...

I too mourn the loss of Fra Angelico! But find it surprisingly easy to back Altdorfer. He has grown on me in a way that Balla has not. Love the knight in the big big forest, and the plausible shambles of a stable in the nativity.

Ben said...

Thanks for adding the short artist description to the beginning of each artist's section. I'm sure most of your readers already know this stuff, but it's new information for me!

I'm going to buck the trend and vote a resounding YES for Balla.

DrSchnell said...


Michael5000 said...

Here's an emailed vote that says lots of nice things about Balla, and then decides for Altdorfer.

Michael5000 said...

As for me: WOW Balla. Much dynamism.

Alison said...

I love them both! But Balla makes me smile more, so I will go with him

UnwiseOwl said...

Altdorfer. No doubt. There was some doubt, but that forest, man.

Candida said...

Altdorfer, decisively.

lamanyana said...

That second Balla painting is one of my favorites from the tournament, but the rest don't do as much for me. Altdorfer is consistently appealing to me and gets my vote.