JUNCKER, Johannes the Elder
(c. 1582-c. 1624)
German sculptor, part of a Franconian artist family whose members were active from the end of the 16th century to the end of the 17th century. Members of the Juncker family (also Junker, Junckher, Yuncker, Guncker, Seaucker) worked at the representative offices of the regional elites in Franconia. Members were Michael Juncker the Elder (born in 1550s), Johannes the Elder (c. 1582-c. 1624), Zacharias the Elder (c. 1578-1665), Zacharias the Younger (1622-1685) and Valentin (1585-1651)
Johannes (Hans) the Elder was the "Wunderkind" (wonder child) of the family. His first work, which he completed at the age of 16, is the altar of the village church in Darstadt near Ochsenfurt. After the training with father Michael, Johannes Juncker entered in the service of the Mainz archbishop Johann Schweikhard von Kronberg. In collaboration with architect Georg Ridinger (c. 1568-c. 1628), the Johannisburg in Aschaffenburg was converted into the archbishop's second residence castle in the following years. One of the most important plants of the late Renaissance was created in Germany.
Johannes Juncker's youthful work was made mainly of tufa and was modeled on his father's example (examples in Würzburg, Arnstein, Aschaffenburg). Preferred material for further creative phases was alabaster. The "fine style" was characterized by a sweet softness (e.g. Kanzelstiftskirche, Aschaffenburg). With the main altar of the Schlosskapelle in Aschaffenburg, Juncker's style approached artists like Hubert Gerhard. His figures were given more volume, a strong movement and overstretched limbs, and thus Mannerist features. In the following works, Johannes Juncker expressed intense intimacy (Magdalenenaltar, Aschaffenburg).
His brother Zacharias oriented himself on the styles of Johannes and continued the sculptural family tradition.