Johannes Ganssog

(c. 1555—1592)

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(b Breslau, c. 1555; d after 1592). German sculptor, active in Sweden. The son of a painter, in 1569 he graduated from the University of Frankfurt an der Oder. In 1588 a ‘Hans Gantzow’ is mentioned in the group of German sculptors working on decorative sculpture under Hans van Steenwinkel the elder at Kronborg Castle in Helsingør. In 1592 a contract for the new pulpit for Lund Cathedral was drawn up between Ganssog and the cathedral chapter, and Ganssog completed the commission in October of that year. The signed and dated black limestone hexagonal pulpit, supported on a carved basket and surmounted by a baldacchino, is decorated with alabaster figurines and reliefs of scenes from the Passion (originally highlighted with colour and gilding). Here north German Renaissance ornament is combined with motifs ultimately derived from the ornamental designs of Cornelis Floris and Hans Vredeman de Vries, but invested with a more Baroque spirit. The similarity of some of the pulpit's figural and decorative elements to Hans van Steenwinkel the elder's monument to Anders Bing at Smedstorp (c. 1590–95) and portals at Kronborg has led scholars to suggest that the prestigious commission was originally offered to Steenwinkel, who in turn recommended his talented assistant, supplying the original design which Ganssog then modified.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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