Philipp Brandin

(c. 1550—1594)

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(b Utrecht, c. 1550; d Nyköping, 1594). Dutch architect and sculptor, active in Germany. He worked from 1563 to 1574 for Johann Albrecht I, Herzog von Mecklenburg, and from 1569 to 1571 built a house (now the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum) in Wismar for Bürgermeister Schabbelt; its Dutch structural and ornamental forms were a strong influence on subsequent architecture in Mecklenburg. His fountain in Wismar market-place, comprising a 12-sided pavilion with ornamental herm-pilasters, was completed in 1602 by his pupils. From 1574 Brandin executed various works for Ulrich III, Herzog von Mecklenburg–Güstrow, including the Schloss at Güstrow, where, having been appointed court builder in 1583, he erected the north wing following a fire; the work was completed by his pupil Claus Midow (d 1602). In Güstrow Cathedral, in accordance with Ulrich's plan to convert the building into a court church where the ducal tombs would be housed in the choir, Brandin started work in 1575 on the memorial to Borwin II, the cathedral's founder. An austere classical aedicula with Dutch Renaissance ornament frames the Mecklenburg family tree, with an over life-size recumbent figure of the reigning duke in armour at its base. Brandin's wall-tomb of the Herzogin Dorothea, Ulrich III's sister, a recumbent figure in white marble, dates from the same year. Brandin's greatest work was the tomb (from 1585; completed by Brandin's pupils) in Güstrow Cathedral of Ulrich III and his two wives, Elizabeth of Denmark and Anna of Pomerania, on which the artist worked during the lifetime of each subject. The three life-size white marble figures, kneeling at prie-dieus and turned towards the altar, are portrayed with lifelike accuracy and in the costume of the period. A black marble rear wall, divided into three by pilasters, bears the family tree of each of the figures. The tomb is framed in an aedicula that, in contrast to the tomb executed by Brandin ten years earlier, displays freer, Mannerist features; two caryatids support an entablature with a continuous cornice, above which rise richly decorated family crests. On the bases of the aedicula are relief scenes from the Life and Passion of Christ. These tombs made Brandin the foremost master of the 16th century in Mecklenburg and helped to propagate the Dutch Renaissance in the face of the former dominance of the Italian.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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