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Witz, Konrad [German-Swiss, c.1400-1446] 











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Witz, Konrad [German-Swiss, c.1400-1446]

[ 15th Century Artists ]

Konrad Witz, (born ca. 1400, Rottweil, died ca. 1446, Basel), was a German-born painter from Rottweil in Swabia, active in Switzerland and generally considered a member of the Swiss school. He entered the painters' guild in Basle in 1434 and apparently spent the rest of his career there and in Geneva. Little else is known of him and few paintings by him survive. These few, however, show that he was remarkably advanced in his naturalism, suggesting a knowledge of the work of his contemporaries Jan van Eyck and the Master of Flémalle. In place of the soft lines and lyrical qualities of International Gothic we find in Witz's work heavy, almost stumpy, figures, whose ample draperies emphasize their solidity.

Witz's most famous works are the four surviving panels (forming two wings) from the altarpiece of St Peter he painted for the cathedral in Geneva. These are now in the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire there; the central panel is lost. One of the panels, the Miraculous Draught of Fishes, is Witz's masterpiece and his only signed and dated work (1444). The landscape setting depicts part of Lake Geneva (one of the earliest recognizable landscape in art) and Witz's naturalism is even more remarkable in his observation of reflection and refraction in the water.

Witz tried to capture landscape and architecture with the greatest possible faithfulness to life. His significance can be compared in various respects with that of Masaccio in Italy and Jan van Eyck in Netherlands. Konrad Witz died in around 1446 in Basle or Geneva.

No portrait of Konrad Witz seems to exist, so the image accompanying this article is an “assumed” characature of Witz from his painting, Joachim and Anna in front of the Golden Gate.

  Witz, Konrad [German-Swiss, c.1400-1446]

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Title: St Bartholomew
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Title: Presentation of Cardinal de Mies to the Virgin
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Title: Joachim and Anna in front of the Golden Gate
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Title: Sacred Conversation
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Title: The Adoration of the Magi
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Title: The Synagoge
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Title: Saint Christopher
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Title: The Annunciation
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Title: St. Catherine Of Alexandria
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Title: The Miraculous Draught of Fishes
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Title: Ecclesia
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Title: King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
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Title: The Liberation of St Peter
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Title: Christ on the Cross
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Title: Esther before Ahasuerus
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