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Baroque panoramas do not always reflect the facts as reliably as it might seem. This painting shows a deer hunt: three riders with a pack of hounds chase a stag and a doe across a shallow pond in a clearing amid an otherwise dense forest. The opening in the forest provides a clear view of the panorama of Nuremberg in the immediate vicinity. The characteristic city walls that are recognizable halfway to the left are an unmistakable indication that the city is indeed Nuremberg. But nowhere did any real forest approach as close to the walls as the painting seems to indicate. Nor is it likely that the forest would ever have ventured so close by. The pond in the forest, though – albeit at a reduced scale – is reminiscent of the Weissensee lake in the Erlenstegener Forest, which may have previously inspired Albrecht Dürer to make a watercolor study. At any event, the artist has blithely combined the foreground and background to achieve his desired pictorial effect. Today we are in the habit of interrogating a picture as to how well it portrays reality. But Baroque taste judged a picture more in terms of its intelligent, visually persuasive composition. Portraying reality, and an idealized "composition of real individual subjects with a commitment to beauty," represented the two poles of Baroque landscape and vista painting.

Details

  • Title: Deer Hunt with Silhouette of Nuremberg
  • Creator: Peter von Bemmel
  • Date Created: 1730/1750
  • Location: Nuremberg
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Kunstsammlungen der Stadt Nürnberg, Gm 3326
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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