Tönnies Evers, II


Quick Reference

(b Lübeck, 1550–52; d Lübeck, 1613). German wood-carver. He trained in the workshop of his father, Tönnies [Antonius] Evers I (d 1584), who belonged to the guild of master builders and joiners in Lübeck from 1556 to 1580, using (from 1559) an escutcheon showing a lily and a boar's head. From 1567 the younger Evers travelled widely and in 1576 was as far south as Konstanz; his later work showed the influence of his contact with South German craftsmen and with Netherlandish works of art. In 1580 he returned to Lübeck and took over his father's workshop; a year later his first apprentice, Hans Weydmann, joined him. Tönnies Evers II was an active member of his guild but was brought to trial by fellow members for having defied its rules by employing more journeymen and apprentices on contracted work than was permitted. Although there was animosity towards him within the guild, he was widely accepted by his contemporaries as the leading wood-carver. His surviving works are well documented and bear the lily-and-boar's head emblem; they include the rood loft (1587) in the church of St Egidius in Lübeck, the wooden pulpit created for the church of St Mary in Wismar (1587; since 1746, Neustadt, Mecklenburg) and the interior decoration (c. 1607) of the boardroom in the Merchants’ House in Lübeck. His strength lay in his ability to assimilate and synthesize the stylistic trends with which he came in contact before and after his return to Lübeck. He was indebted to the Netherlandish school, notably to the older style of Cornelis Floris and the newer one of Hans Vredeman de Vries. In the organ façade (1587–9) of the church of St Peter in Lübeck he combined the two styles, adding other elements that can be traced back to the Netherlanders Hendrick Goltzius and Adriaen Collaert and to the Nuremberg master Peter Flötner. These influences appeared less evident in his work in the war cabinet room (1594–1613; destr. 1942) of the Rathaus in Lübeck, the most important Renaissance room of its time in Germany. His inspiration, especially for the figurative work, may have come from German prints by the Goltzius school, Jost Amman and Virgil Solis, or small-scale sculpture. The room's decoration demonstrated his ability to harmonize immensely rich and varied architectural and sculptural details with the intarsia of the wood panelling, conveying an impression of splendour and power. After his death his son Tönnies Evers III carried on the workshop tradition but never achieved the same success as his father.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.