(b. 1473, Augsburg, d. 1531, Augsburg)


German painter and designer of woodcuts. After learning his trade under Schongauer in Colmar, he had settled in his native Augsburg by 1498. Before then he is presumed to have been to Italy, for his paintings, with their warm glow of colour, their decorative classical motifs, and their intricate spatial composition, show how decisively he transformed his late Gothic heritage with Renaissance influence. Indeed, he occupied a place in Augsburg comparable to that of Dürer in Nuremberg in introducing the new style.

He made nearly 700 woodcuts and was one of the first masters of the colour woodcut. Like Dürer he contributed to the famous series of woodcuts for the Emperor, the Triumph of Maximilian published in 1526. He was also employed to illustrate the Emperor's own writings in "Teuerdank" and "Der Weisskunig", moralizing knightly romances. A certain clarity of characterisation, which is typical of all his works, not least his incisive portraits, seems to have influenced Hans Holbein the Younger. His son, Hans the Younger (c. 1500-59) was a painter and engraver, also active in Augsburg.