The Battle of Alexander at Issus is a 1529 oil painting by German
artist Albrecht Altdorfer, an early pioneer of landscape art and a
founding member of the Danube school. It portrays the 333 BC Battle of
Issus, in which Alexander the Great secured a decisive victory over
Darius III of Persia and gained crucial leverage in his campaign
against the Persian Empire. The painting is widely regarded as
Altdorfer's masterpiece, and exemplifies his affinity for scenes of
monumental grandeur. William IV, Duke of Bavaria commissioned The
Battle of Alexander at Issus in 1528, as part of a set of historical
pieces that was to hang in his Munich residence. Modern commentators
suggest that the painting, through its abundant use of anachronism, was
intended to liken Alexander's heroic victory at Issus to the
contemporary European conflict with the Ottoman Empire. In particular,
the defeat of Suleiman the Magnificent at the Siege of Vienna may have
been an inspiration for Altdorfer. A religious undercurrent is
detectable, especially in the extraordinary sky; this was probably
inspired by the prophecies of Daniel and contemporary concern within
the Church about an impending apocalypse. The Battle of Alexander at
Issus and four of the others in William's initial set are in the Alte
Pinakothek art museum in Munich.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Nine-year-old Edward VI was crowned King of England and Ireland.
Italian composer Gioachino Rossini's opera buffa The Barber of Seville,
based on the first Figaro play by French playwright Pierre
Beaumarchais, debuted at the Teatro Argentina in Rome.
New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, today containing a
collection of over two million works of art, opened.
World War II: Allied forces began a bombing campaign that became known
as Big Week, launching massive attacks on the German aircraft industry
in an attempt to lure the Luftwaffe into a decisive battle.
The Canadian government under Prime Minister John Diefenbaker cancelled
the Avro CF-105 Arrow interceptor aircraft program amid much political
Spanish voters passed a referendum on the ratification of the proposed
Constitution of the European Union, despite the lowest turnout in any
election since the transition to democracy in the 1970s.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
A long piece cut or rent off; a sharp, slender fragment
Wikiquote quote of the day:
No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at
last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.
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