Thomas Heidelberger


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(b before 1541; d before 1597). German cabinetmaker and wood-carver. Although in the high quality of his craftsmanship he was an important representative of South German cabinetmaking and is thought to have produced an extensive oeuvre in Upper Swabia and Switzerland, little evidence of it has survived. Probably in collaboration with the Augsburg cabinetmaker Hans Kels (fl 1537-65/6) and commissioned by the monastery of Ottobeuren, he produced an organ case and choir-stalls with rich inlaid ornamentation; their remains were later incorporated into a sacristy cupboard. Again collaborating with Kels, in 1583-5 he produced five portals (four in situ; one, Stuttgart, Württemberg. Landesmus.), the architectural structure of which was accentuated by lavish figural and ornamental carving and supplemented by inlays and reliefs, together with a coffered ceiling, for the Benedictine abbey at Ochsenhausen. Through his extensive use of contemporary pattern books while designing, Heidelberger combined delicate decorative elements from the early Renaissance with the more robust forms of the later 16th century.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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