Hans Burgkmair

Hans Burgkmair

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Hans Burgkmair'
Start a new discussion about 'Hans Burgkmair'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Hans Burgkmair the elder (1473–1531) was a German painter
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 and printmaker in woodcut
Woodcut
Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges...

.

Burgkmair was born in Augsburg
Augsburg
Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a...

, the son of painter Thomas Burgkmair and his son, Hans the Younger, became one too. From 1488 he was a pupil of Martin Schongauer
Martin Schongauer
Martin Schongauer was a German engraver and painter. He was the most important German printmaker before Albrecht Dürer....

 in Colmar
Colmar
Colmar is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.It is the capital of the department. Colmar is also the seat of the highest jurisdiction in Alsace, the appellate court....

, who died during his two years there, before Burgkmair completed the normal period of training. He may have visited Italy at this time, and certainly did so in 1507, which greatly influenced his style. From 1491 he was working in Augsburg, where he became a master and opened his own workshop in 1498.

Hollstein ascribes 834 woodcuts to him, mostly for book illustrations, with slightly over a hundred being "single-leaf", that is prints not for books. The best of them show a talent for striking compositions, and a blend, not always fully successful, of Italian Renaissance forms and underlying German style. From about 1508 he spent much of his time working on the woodcut
Woodcut
Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges...

 projects of Maximilian I
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

 until the Emperor's death in 1519. He was responsible for nearly half of the 135 prints in the Trumphs of Maximilian, which are large and full of character. He also did most of the illustrations for Weiss Kunig and much of Theurdank. He worked closely with the leading blockcutter Jost de Negker
Jost de Negker
Jost de Negker was a cutter of woodcuts and also a printer and publisher of prints during the early 16th century, mostly in Augsburg, Germany. He was a leading "formschneider" or blockcutter of his day, but always to the design of an artist. He is "closely tied to the evolution of the fine...

, who became in effect his publisher.

He was an important innovator of the chiaroscuro woodcut, and seems to have been the first to use a tone block, in a print of 1508. His Lovers Surprised by Death (1510) is the first chiaroscuro print to use three blocks. and also the first print that was designed to be printed only in colour, as the line block by itself would not make a satisfactory image. Other chiaroscuro prints from around this date by Baldung and Cranach
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lucas Cranach the Elder , was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving...

 had line blocks that could be and were printed by themselves. He produced one etching, Venus and Mercury (c1520), etched on a steel plate, but never tried engraving
Engraving
Engraving is the practice of incising a design on to a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, gold, steel, or glass are engraved, or may provide an intaglio printing plate, of copper or another metal, for printing...

, despite his training with Schongauer.

Burgkmair was also a successful painter, mainly of religious scenes and portraits of Augsburg citizens and members of the Emperor's court. Many examples of his work are in the galleries of Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and elsewhere, carefully and solidly finished. His portraits suit modern taste better than his religious works.

Burgkmair died at Augsburg in 1531.

External links