(d Weichselmunde [now Wisloujscie, nr Gdańsk, Poland], 1577). German architect and military engineer. He trained under his father, the master builder Bastian Kramer (d after 1553), who had come to Dresden in 1527; together they worked on rebuilding and extending the Dresden Residenz to the designs of Caspar Vogt von Wierandt during the reigns of the electors Maurice (reg 1541–53) and Augustus I. In 1554 Hans Kramer was appointed mason to the Saxon court; he rebuilt (1558–61) Wittenberg Castle and designed town halls for Schmiedeberg (1560) and Lommatzsch (1560). He left the service of the Elector of Saxony in 1565 and moved to Danzig (now Gdańsk), where he became the municipal architect. Between 1571 and 1576 he continued the modernization of the city fortifications, adopting the old Italian bastion system. He erected a new gate (c. 1575), the Hohes Tor, which Willem van den Block (d 1628) subsequently faced with rusticated stonework (1588). Kramer's official and domestic architecture was a synthesis of Saxony Renaissance (using high ornamental gables, aedicular portals and sgraffito decoration) with articulation through the use of orders, sculpture and ornamentation in the Dutch Mannerist style, as propagated by the Flemish architects and sculptors working with Kramer. He was responsible for the Grünes Tor (1565–8; destr. 1945; rebuilt), a combination of gate, municipal weigh house and palace for the kings of Poland that stands at one end of the Langer Markt. He also designed the house (1568–70; from c. 1716 known as the Engelisches Haus) of the merchant Dirck Lylge on Brotbankergasse. It is a tall, double-fronted burgher's house on a square plan with a centralized block embellished with four gables. Although the typical burgher's house in Danzig, articulated by orders on the façade, had already appeared due to Dutch influence before Kramer's arrival there, he must have contributed to the proliferation of this kind of building since he supervised all construction work in the city. He may also have designed several such dwellings, for example the burgher's house on Langgasse (1569; from 1879 known as the Löwenschloss).
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.