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Fine Literature
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Hans Burgkmair the Elder

Burgkmair, Hans the Elder (1473-1531). German painter and designer of woodcuts.

After learning his trade under Schongauer in Colmar, he had settled in his native Augsburg by 1498. Before then he is presumed to have been to Italy, for his paintings, with their warm glow of color, their decorative Classical motifs, and their intricate spatial composition, show how decisively he transformed his late Gothic heritage with Renaissance influence.

Indeed, he occupied a place in Augsburg comparable to that of Dürer in Nuremberg in introducing the new style. Like Dürer he contributed to the famous series of woodcuts for the Emperor, the Triumph of Maximilian. He was also employed to illustrate the Emperor's own writings, the Teuerdank and Weisskunig, moralizing knightly romances. A certain clarity of characterization, which is typical of all his works, not least his incisive portraits, seems to have influenced Hans Holbein the Younger. His son, Hans Burgkmair the Younger (c.1500-59), was a painter and engraver.

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