The Danube School or Donau School (German: Donauschule or Donaustil) was a circle of painters of the first third of the 16th century in Bavaria and Austria (mainly along the Danube valley). Many also were innovative printmakers, usually in etching. They were among the first painters to regularly use pure landscape painting, and their figures, influenced by Matthias Grünewald, are often highly expressive, if not expressionist. They show little Italian influence, and also represent a decisive break with the high finish of Northern Renaissance painting, using a more painterly style that was in many ways ahead of its time.
Among its members were:
- Albrecht Altdorfer
- Wolf Huber
- Jörg Breu the Elder
- Rueland Frueauf the Younger
- Augustin Hirschvogel (draughtsman, printmaker)
Lucas Cranach the Elder was a major influence on, and is occasionally considered a member of, the Danube school.
- Stange, Alfred. Malerei der Donauschule. Munich: Bruckmann, 1971.
- Stadlober, Margit. Der Wald in der Malerei und der Graphik des Donaustils. Vienna: Böhlau, 2006.
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