Family of German or Bohemian master-masons. Wenzel (fl. 1411–19), who seems to have been trained in the Parler Lodge in Prague, became Architect of the Cathedral of St Peter, Regensburg, Bavaria, in c.1411, where he probably designed the lower stages of the western towers: a surviving drawing may be in his hand or in that of his son, Konrad (before 1419–1477/8), who built the choir of St Lorenz, Nuremberg (1454–66), worked at Regensburg (where he or his father designed the elegant triangular porch of c.1430), was a consultant in Vienna (1462), was consultant for the building of the great tower of the Church of St Georg, Nördlingen (1460s), and advised on the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), Munich (1474).
Konrad's son, Matthäus or Mathes (c. 1430–c. 1495), worked with his father at Nuremberg, became Master-Mason at the Lorenzkirche (1463–6), and worked at Nördlingen on his father's design for the tower of the Church of St Georg. From 1468 to 1472 he was again connected with Regensburg, and probably worked with Böblinger on the Frauenkirche at Esslingen, designing the tabernacle there. He built the sacristy at Eichstätt, and in 1473 he was in Munich, working on the Frauenkirche, before returning to Regensburg in 1476 and succeeding his father as Master-Mason for the Cathedral. He built the upper part of the west façade, the pulpit (1482), the second stage of the north tower (1487–8), the tabernacle (1493), the Eichel turret, and, perhaps, the Three Kings altar. His brother, Wolfgang (fl. 1480–1514), completed the west front, added further stages to the towers, and designed the font and baldachin. He backed the losing side in a political dispute, and paid with his head.
Matthäus is particularly important as the author of a surviving tract on the design of Gothic finials (Das Büchlein von der Fialen Gerechtigkeit (Little Book of Correct Finials— 1486) ) as well as a treatise on geometrical procedures relating to the resolution of certain constructional problems published as Geometria Deutsch (1486–90). His other surviving publication is a tract on gables (c. 1488–9).
Geldner (1965);Placzek (ed.) (1982);Recht (ed.) (1989);Shelby (1977);Jane Turner (1996)
Subjects: Architecture — Renaissance Art.