(b. 1473, Augsburg, d. 1531, Augsburg)

Portrait of Johannes Paumgartner

Colour woodcut, 294 x 243 mm
Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Augsburg-born Hans Burgkmair not only played a leading role in disseminating modern Italian Renaissance ornamentation in southern Germany, but also developed the technique of the chiaroscuro woodcut, in which several plates are used, each one printing a different tone of the same colour. In the case of the Paumgartner portrait, the desired painterly effect is achieved by using three tones of violet; black is not used at all. The architectural motif of the arch is used to better effect in the young Hans Holbein's double portraits of burgomaster Jacob Meyer and his wife (Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel). In these portraits husband and wife are shown against one continuous architectural background which is sumptuous in its elaborate detail and contrasts of red and gold.

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