VISCHER, German family of artists

The family of brass founders, or redsmiths (Rotschmiede), and artists were active in Nuremberg from the mid-15th century until the second half of the 16th. Their foundry near the Pegnitz River, referred to as 'der Vischerhütte', was the most important in Germany during this period. The Vischers worked exclusively in brass, preferred in Nuremberg for both sculpture and church furnishings, as opposed to bronze, which was mostly restricted to the casting of bells. Hermann Vischer I and his son Peter Vischer I made large furnishings and tomb monuments commissioned for churches as far away as Breslau (now Wroclaw), Kraków and Posen (now Poznan). Peter I had five sons, Hermann Vischer II, Peter Vischer II, Hans Vischer, Jacob Vischer and Paulus Vischer, the first two of whom predeceased their father. The foundry presumably continued until the death in 1592 of Hans's son, Georg Vischer. Since the casting workshop as a whole or the master in charge were nearly always credited with any completed work, clear delineations within the cooperative effort and of the roles played by younger family members are often elusive. Current opinion, however, tends to describe the first two Vischers as primarily brass-casters, while their descendants are recognized also to have been the creators of models to be cast and as inventive artists.

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