Monograffi Fine Art Gallery
~  Heiner Altmeppen  ~
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       Heiner Altmeppen is a German artist residing and working in Bremricherhof, Germany. His oeuvre covers landscapes, still lifes and some figurative work. The Battle of Alexander by Albrecht Altdorfer (1529)

       Traditions in landscape painting in northern Europe trace back to the German Renaissance painter Albrecht Altdorfer, whose most recognized work is the Battle of Alexander, completed in 1529 (image to the right). This painting is unsurpassed in epic scope and miniaturized detail. In the same period, the Flemish painter Joachim   Pantinir developed a panoramic style utilizing unusual high vantage points. Pieter Bruegel the Elder, a Flemish painter, also became interested in panoramic landscapes, and adopted the aerial perspective of Pantinir. His sons, Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brueghel, produced significant paintings incorporating majestic scenery. The work of these early artists incorporated advances in both illusionism and naturalism, and helped prepare a stage for the emergence of both genre painting and landscapes in the Netherlands during the 17th century. Use of the high perspective and of miniaturization can be seen in a number of Heiner Altmeppen's paintings.

        The word landscape is based on a Dutch word, landschap. The growth of the middle class in Calvinist Holland after 1620 allowed a large View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds by Jacob Isaakszoon van Ruysdael (c 1965)number of artists to specialize in the landscape painting. Over the next few decades, in what is referred to the tonal phase of the Dutch Golden Age of art, atmospheric effects and realism. Favorite subjects were river scenes or harbour scenes in which the sky often dominated. The last half of the 17th century is called the classical phase of the Golden Age, and during this period there was an emphasis on dramatized lighting and stronger color contrasts. Pictorial elements, such as a windmill, a ruin, farm animals or boats were added as points of interest. A notable artist during this time was Jacob van Ruisdael. His favored subjects are woodland scenes, including Nordic mountain streams, but he also painted seascapes and cloudscapes (see image on right). In many ways his paintings anticipates the landscapes of the Romantic period, particularly the work of the Nordic artists. Inclusion of dramatic skyscapes, seascapes and woodland scenes are prevalent in Altmeppen's art. 

       In the Romantic landscape, which emerged in the early 19th century, the predominate themes revolved around the majestic beauty and awesome Crossing the Brook by J.M.W. Turner (1815)power of nature. These themes are evident in the works of Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), who trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art in Copenhagen. He was influenced by his teachers Christian August Lorentzen and Jens Juel. In his work Friedrich combined accurate depictions of the natural world with personal insight, often with an allegorical meaning. His art was all about evoking a mood. It is clear that a contemplative aspect pervades Altmeppen's art. Additionally, his paintings exhibits a rich palette that was typical of many other Romantic artists, as seen in the paintings by J.M.W. Turner and Theodore Chasseriau. Thematically the inclusion of ruins or decrepit elements was typical of Romantic landscapes. There is no question that Heiner Altmeppen's paintings are informed by the spirit of Romantic art. Yet to characterize his art as a type of Neo Romanticism would be misleading. The apparent influences are far more complex. 

       Some significant aspects of Heiner Altmeppen's art arise from the subtle influence of Neue Sachlichkeit. In many of his paintings there is a stillness, akin to the static, airless environment often encountered in the paintings of German art in the 1920s. Secondly,  many paintings exhibit a precise, sharply defined Realism often encountered in the still lifes and landscapes of this same period. And finally, the mood of many of Altmeppen's paintings is akin to the eerie atmospheres that are so typical experienced  in works by Franz Radziwill and other Magic Realist artists.

Heiner Altmeppen's Gallery

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