(b. ca. 1480, Regensburg, d. 1538, Regensburg)

The Arrest of Christ

Oil on wood, 129 x 97 cm
Augustiner Chorherrenstift, Sankt Florian bei Linz

One of the main concerns of the German artist Albrecht Altdorfer was to paint atmospheric landscapes. In the Arrest scene of the St Florian Altarpiece, which today survives only in fragments, the light from the torches throws up a night scene in a forest covered by a somberly glowing night sky. This kind of dramatic interpretation of the subject matter was just the sort of model Holbein needed for his Passion altarpiece.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 11 minutes):
Georges de la Hele: Missa "Nigra sum"