(fl Schneeberg, 1550; d Schneeberg, 6 April 1605). German painter. His father Martin Krodel, also a painter, probably came to Schneeberg from Hungary. Martin Krodel and Matthias's uncle Wolfgang painted entirely in the style of Lucas Cranach I (see Cranach, (1)). Matthias's first authenticated works are ten repeatedly overpainted frescoes of Christ and the Apostles (1568; St Wolfgangskirche, ex-Schneeberg: St Paul, St Bartholomew and St John the Baptist in the Hospitalkirche, Schneeberg, others destr. 1945). The superb half-length portrait of Paul Goepfer (d 1599), a goldsmith from Schneeberg (1570; Brunswick, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Mus.), sets Goepfer's sharp, almost exaggerated features against a landscape with the conversion of Saul on the right, and on the left a ship with three warriors fleeing before it, a psalmic allusion to hope in God. Krodel has adopted the light, cold colouring used by Lucas Cranach II (see Cranach, (2)). The panel of the Interrogation of St Paul (Schneeberg, Wolfgangskirche) is still finer, constituting a major work of German painting of that period. The Roman Emperor in his desperation (a similar figure type to those associated with Cornelis Engelbrechtszoon), Paul sustained by his faith and the soldiers thronging about him are powerfully depicted against rich architecture, with the distinctive addition of a small gnome dressed as a miner. From an altarpiece with two wings (Mügeln, Pfarrkirche), commissioned in 1582 by Bishop Johann von Haugwitz of Meissen, only the third section with the Agony in the Garden, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection survives, still impressive in part. The portrait of the Schneeberg councillor Franz Brehm (1591; Dresden, Gemäldegal. Alte Meister) is also notable, though Krodel's powers declined from c. 1590.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.