MECKENEM, Israhel van the Younger
(b. 1440/45, Meckenheim, d. 1503, Bocholt)


Self-portrait with the artist's wife, c. 1490, engraving

German engraver, the son of an engraver of the same name, active c. 1450-65. He was trained by his father and probably by Master E.S., whose work he copied. His oeuvre is bigger than that of any other 15th-century engraver; he is known to have made more than 600 plates, and in some instances over a hundred prints have been preserved from each plate. Like many early engravers, he also worked as a goldsmith. Although he was a minor figure as a creative artist (much of his work consisted of copies), he is important in showing the growing popularity of engraving. He was the first artist to engrave his own features (in a double portrait together with his wife) and looks a very shrewd individual.