(b c. 1550; d 1613). German mason and architect. He worked for the Bremen city council on fortifications (1580–1612), while at the same time carrying on an active trade in Oberkirchner sandstone, which took him as far afield as the Netherlands. Bentheim's first important work in Bremen was the municipal weigh house (1587–8; destr.; rest. 1960). His second building was the granary (1591; destr. 1944). Bentheim also added (1594) a Renaissance cornice and balustrade, together with a central dormer, to the long façade of the Late Gothic merchants’ guild hall (Schütting), facing the marketplace. His masterpiece, however, was the rebuilding (1608–12), in a late Renaissance monumental style, of the main façade of Bremen's 15th-century Rathaus (see fig.). Bentheim had already (1595) replaced the original lancet windows on the façade with wide rectangular ones but left the Gothic sculptures of the Emperor and the Seven Electors between the windows. In 1608 these were moved one bay out on either side to make room for a central two-storey projection, fenestrated all round, that would accommodate the new ceremonial room planned by Bentheim, the Güldenkammer. The projection rises above the three middle bays of the open round-arched arcade erected in front of the ground-floor. Above the projection, before the pitched roof, is the five-storey central gable flanked by small dormer windows. Profuse ornamentation completes this Weser renaissance masterpiece.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.