Witz, Conrad

Witz, Conrad kôn´rät vĭts [key], fl. c.1434–c.1447, German painter, active at Basel and Geneva. Many of the works attributed to him, such as The Synagogue and the Meeting of Joachim and Anna, can be seen in Basel. The one work that is undoubtedly his is the Saint Peter alterpiece (1444) in the Geneva cathedral. The large altarpieces that are attributed to him reveal stubby figures that recall painted sculpture and settings of steeply recessed perspective or topographically accurate landscapes; he was one of the first artists to attempt realistic landscapes. Witz showed a remarkable understanding of the effects of reflected light on water and landscape. In his realism he is an early follower of van Eyck and Campin, although his forms are more abstract and geometric.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: European Art to 1599: Biographies