(Resident in Switzerland)
Conrad Witz Gallery
-6). German painter. One of the great innovators in northern European painting, he turned away from the lyricism of the preceding generation of German painters. His sturdy, monumental figures give a strong impression of their physical presence, gestures are dignified and the colours strong and simple. Even scenes with several figures are strangely undramatic and static. The surface appearance of materials, especially metals and stone, is intensely observed and recorded with an almost naive precision. Powerful cast shadows help to define the spatial relationships between objects. His fresh approach to the natural world reflects that of the Netherlandish painters: the Master of Fl?malle and the van Eycks. He need not, however, have trained in the Netherlands or in Burgundy as knowledge of their style could have been gained in Basle. He remained, however, untouched by the anecdotal quality present in their art, while Witz pure tempera technique differs emphatically from the refined use of oil glazes that endows Netherlandish pictures with their jewel-like brilliance.