(b. ca. 1485, Thurgau, d. 1546, Nürnberg)


Peter Flötner (Flettner), German sculptor, medallist, cabinetmaker, woodcutter and designer. It has been conjectured on stylistic grounds that between 1515 and 1518 he was active in Augsburg and worked in Hans Daucher's workshop on the sculptural decoration (destroyed) of the Fugger funerary chapel in St Anna. His early style was formed by the Italianism of Daucher and of Hans Burgkmair and also by a journey to Italy in 1520-21. He was briefly active in Ansbach before arriving in 1522 in Nuremberg; there he was documented as master sculptor when receiving citizenship in August 1523.

His earliest sculptural work in Nuremberg is thought to have been 22 capitals (early 1520s) for the renovated Rathaus (destroyed in 1945). The use of Italian Renaissance ornament, such as volutes decorated with acanthus leaves and fluting, represented a progressive development, in contrast to Albrecht Dürer's Gothic-inspired architectural design of the Ehrenpforte. Flötner's first-hand study of Italian Renaissance architectural vocabulary is apparent in the ornamentation of the pilasters of the triangular fountain (1526) in the Markt at Mainz, commissioned by Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg. Most of the motifs he used, such as vases with arabesques of combined acanthus leaves and vine leaves extending into grotesque figures or dolphins, are derived from Lombard architectural works, such as the portals of the Certosa di Pavia.

Flötner's work was important in spreading the Renaissance style in Northern Europe. His best-known work is the Apollo Fountain (Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, 1532), which is classical in inspiration but with a flowing elegance that is Flötner's own.

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