WEIDMANN, Leonhard
(active 1568-1596 in Rothenburg ob der Tauber)


German mason and master builder. In 1568, when he became a citizen of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, he was paid for a plan to rebuild the Renaissance wing of the Town Hall, on which work began in 1570. Opinions vary concerning the extent to which Weidmann's scheme was followed, as he did not qualify as a master craftsman until 1575. The Town Hall, one of the finest in Franconia, reconciles the traditional high gabled façade with the heavily stressed horizontals of the long side elevation, exposed to the Market Square, by locating a three-storey oriel at the angle. Weidmann's work is seen in the Gothic wing, too, where he carved the bar in the courtroom.

In 1574-78 Weidmann worked on the reconstruction of the hospital and was responsible for its Renaissance doorway. He is credited also with the Hegereiterhaus in the courtyard of the hospital, an effective composition built up from a two-storey cube with a tent-shaped roof, set off by a higher stair tower crowned by an open lantern. The old Grammar School (Gymnasium, 1589-91) is assigned to Weidmann on stylistic grounds: horizontal bands of moulding separate the three floors, the windows are arranged in pairs, as at the Town Hall, and an obliquely fenestrated octagonal stair tower crowned by a bulbous cupola is introduced in front of the façade. The house known as the Baumeisterhaus, which was built by Weidmann in 1596 for a town councilor, is the most important Renaissance building in Rothenburg, notable for the particularly rich figurative decoration on its façade.