Stefan Godl

(fl. 1508—1518)

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(b ?Nuremberg; fl 1508–18). Austrian bronze-founder. He is first heard of in 1508, when he was summoned to Innsbruck from Nuremberg to make brass firearms for the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. Godl was a superb technician and was soon pressed into service as one of the bronze-founders for the cenotaph of Emperor Maximilian I in the Hofkirche: it was he who cast Leonhard Magt's 23 statues (bronze, 1514–18) of the Habsburg family saints. His consummate skill in translating Magt's highly individualized figures from wax to bronze earned him in 1518 the task of casting one of the over life-size figures of the members of Maximilian's family (see fig.) that were designed to stand as a guard of honour around the cenotaph. Godl's figure, Duke Albert IV Habsburg, had first been prepared by Hans Leinberger as a wooden model (1514) from Albrecht Dürer's original drawing (Liverpool, Walker A.G.). When Maximilian saw the completed figure, he dismissed Gilg Sesselschreiber, the court painter who had been directing the project, and gave the job to Godl, with orders to cast the remainder of the figures. These dark bronze statues were the first over life-size statues to be cast in German lands. They were cast in sections—arms, legs, heads and so on—by the lost-wax process, using models first carved in wood. Many of the highly complicated ornamental details of costume, jewellery and armour were also cast separately and polished by a goldsmith after being assembled.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.