Wolfgang Katzheimer


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(b c. 1430–35; d Bamberg, late 1508). German painter, draughtsman and designer. He ran a painting and woodcarving workshop in Bamberg from 1465, his main patrons being the town of Bamberg and the bishop's court. Although he was generally commissioned to supply objects for everyday use, these have not survived; nor have the stained-glass windows for which he made preliminary drawings. Extant works based on his designs include a carved stone coat of arms (1494) on the Alte Hofhaltung in Bamberg, made by a Nuremberg master, and the tomb plaque of Bishop Georg Marschalk von Ebneth (d 1505) in Bamberg Cathedral, cast by Peter Vischer I in Nuremberg. However, both works are more expressive of the masters who executed them than of the designer. Thus the only basis for judging Katzheimer's style lies in the 22 woodcuts for the Halsgerichtsordnung (Bamberg, 1507), printed by Johann Pfeyll, for which he supplied the preliminary drawings. The compositions are simple, with the figures lined up horizontally, diagonally or in tiers (the traditional way of suggesting depth), and the interior spaces are usually represented in outline only. Two reliefs relating to the Legend of St Pancras (1501–5; Schesslitz, Gügel-Kapelle), which show the same distinguishing features, are fragments of a small altar commissioned by two bishops of Bamberg and made in Katzheimer's workshop. Although no authenticated paintings by Katzheimer have survived, on the basis of stylistic comparison with the Halsgerichtsordnung woodcuts two panels of the Life of St Bartholomew (c. ?1500–05; Bamberg, Neue Residenz, Staatsgal.) may be ascribed to him. The work of the master of the Hersbruck high altar has also been connected with Katzheimer. It is not yet clear whether his sons Wolfgang Katzheimer the younger (fl 1478–93) and Bernhard Katzheimer (fl 1508) collaborated with him.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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