(fl Ulm, 1495; d 1518). German painter. Although there is documentary evidence of his existence, his work is a matter of hypothesis. In 1495 he was named in a register of members of the painters’ brotherhood based in the Wengenkloster at Ulm; the register also gives the year of his death. As it names him ‘pictor noster’, Late Gothic works from the Wengenkloster have been attributed to him (Leitschuh), notably the former high-altarpiece, depicting scenes from the Childhood of Christ and Passion (1490s; now in sixteen parts: one, Dublin, N.G.; two, Karlsruhe, Staatl. Ksthalle; two, Lübeck, St Annen-Mus.; six, Ulm Cathedral; three, Stuttgart, Staatsgal.; two, ex-art market, London, see Stange, no. 636, f, n). However, the hypothesis has been disputed, and the altarpiece continues to be attributed to an artist from the circle of Bartholomäus Zeitblom. As Albrecht Dürer called Merklin his ‘dear friend’ in a draft letter, there have been attempts to assemble an oeuvre of higher quality than the Wengen altarpiece. Thus Merklin has been named by Buchner as the Master of the Hutz Portrait (c. 1510; Dessau, Staatl. Gal.) and by Stange as the Master of the Decapitation of St John (1493–4; Blaubeuren, former Klosterkirche). Although he has been attributed with a Lamentation (c. 1510–13; ex-Ulm, Wengenkloster; Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.) by Leitschuh and Stange, it is still labelled as a work by bartholomäus Zeitblom with the collaboration of martin Schaffner.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.