Day 22 — National Blog Posting Month
I had never thought of Dürer as a landscape artist but he was one of the first in Europe. The “View of the Arco Valley in the Tyrol” is pen, ink, and watercolor. He painted it in 1495, a year after he returned to Nuremberg from his travels around Germany and the Netherlands as a journeyman (Wanderjahre 1490 – 1494).
Dürer may have interrupted his Wanderjahre to marry Agnes Frey (see yesterday’s post) because within three months of their marriage he left for Italy. Now I’m thinking the reason for her pensive look is he told Agnes he’d soon be leaving. Off he set on foot to study in Venice for a year, making watercolor sketches as he traveled over the Alps.
Here, he’s in the Tyrolean Alps in Austria. The only thing I can find on Arco Valley is Anton Arco-Valley, a German political activist who is best remembered as the assassin of Kurt Eisner, the first republican premier of Bavaria, in February 1919.
There is also an Arco-Valley Pearl, a 575-carat natural saltwater white pearl with pink and yellow overtones. Mongolian Emperor Khublai Khan reportedly gave it to Marco Polo, the famed Venetian adventurer. It eventually came into the possession of an aristocratic family of Austria and Bavaria, coincidentally named the Arco-Valleys.
NOTE: On his return to Nuremberg in 1495, Dürer opened his own workshop (being married was a requirement for this).