KERN, Leonhard
(b. 1588, Forchtenberg, d. 1662, Schwäbisch Hall)


German sculptor. Coming from a family of masons, he served an apprenticeship from 1603 to 1609 with his brother, the sculptor Michael Kern (1580-1649), working closely with him in Würzburg and elsewhere. He spent the next four years chiefly in Italy. He stayed in Rome, where he learnt life drawing, possibly at the Accademia di San Luca, and pursued architectural studies; he also stayed in Naples, from where he travelled to North Africa, and in Venice. He visited Laibach (now Ljubljana) in 1613. From 1614 to 1620 he worked in Forchtenberg, Heidelberg and Nuremberg, and from then on until his death he supervised a large studio in Schwäbisch Hall.

It is difficult to distinguish the works he actually created himself from those of his colleagues and successors. Kern's individual style; the influence of various stylistic elements (Italy, Flanders) on his development within the limits of local traditional methods of carving; the patterns he followed and the frequent variations he introduced into the types and styles of his figures; the occasional diversity of treatment in his technical execution - all this is often hard to determine precisely in his individual works, and makes their exact dating and chronological arrangement difficult.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.