OSTENDORFER, Michael
(b. ca. 1494, Regensburg, d. 1549, Regensburg)

Biography

German painter, draughtsman and woodcut designer. He was first mentioned as a master and citizen of Regensburg in 1520. At about the same time he produced his earliest surviving work, including two large woodcuts, The Pilgrimage to the Church of the Beautiful Virgin of Regensburg, and the New Church of the Beautiful Virgin. These establish an association with Altdorfer who clearly exercised a strong influence on him from the beginning, and who may have trained him. The former woodcut outstandingly illustrates the sort of religious hysteria that Luther among others was to decry, prompted by reports of hundreds of miracles happening at a church built on the site of a synagogue after the expulsion of Jews from Regensburg in 1619.

In 1536 Ostendorfer moved to Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate where he became court painter to Frederick II, Count Palatinate (1482-1556).

Ostendorfer's known oeuvre comprises 38 signed or attributed paintings, 150 woodcuts and 10 drawings.