(b Fribourg, c. 1460–62; d ?Berne, after 1518). Swiss painter and draughtsman. The most important painter of religious art in early Renaissance Switzerland, he was a product of the late 15th-century school of the Bernese Carnation masters, a school that operated within the Late Gothic tradition of South Germany. The son of a Fribourg baker and town councillor, Fries presumably trained as a painter in Berne with the ‘Carnation Master’ Heinrich Bichler (Büchler; fl 1466–97). He may well have substantially contributed to Bichler's Battle of Morat (1480; ex-Fribourg Town Hall, until 1563). When this picture—commissioned by the town of Fribourg to commemorate a Swiss victory over the Burgundians—was handed over, he was presented with an expensive garment. In 1487–8 and 1497 he is recorded as living in Basle, but he most probably also travelled about during these years, presumably visiting Alsace (Colmar) and almost certainly Augsburg and the Tyrol. His landscape work is influenced by Netherlandish painters, his figure work by Augsburg painters (Hans Holbein the elder and Hans Burgkmair) as well as by Michael Pacher.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.