(b Königsberg, 1563–5; d Danzig [Gdańsk], 1611). German painter, draughtsman and woodcutter. The son of a surgeon to Duke Albert Iof Prussia, he served his apprenticeship in Königsberg from 1578 to 1585, mainly studying prints by Dürer. By 1587 Möller was in Danzig; a year later he obtained his first large commission, to portray the bench of lay judges (Gdańsk, Artus Court). A pen drawing of a Country Fair (1587; Berlin, Kupferstichkab.) is reminiscent in draughtsmanship of the Nuremberg Little Masters and in composition and shading of Pieter Bruegel the elder and Hans Bol. Between 1588 and 1590 Möller must have visited Italy (Venice at least) and the Netherlands. Returning, he became the best regarded painter in Danzig and its environs, mingling old German touches and Italian influences (Jacopo Tintoretto (1519–94)) in his work. A large canvas of the Last Judgement (1601–2; Gdańsk, Artus Court) untypically shows Mannerist influence: Möller's works, with their genre elements, tend otherwise to a fresh realism rare among German contemporaries. Ceiling pictures (1602–3) in the town hall at Toruń, painted with the help of assistants, are accompanied by a large lunette of the Parable of the Tribute Money, with an impressive town view inspired by the Venetian vedute of Joseph Heintz I (see Heintz, (2)); another lunette of Church Building transcends the perspectival scenes of Hans Vredeman de Vries, who had previously worked in Danzig, peopling the architecture with rich detail of masons at work. A large panel showing the Works of Mercy (1607; Gdańsk, St Mary) adopts the Tree of Jesse—Faith replacing Jesse—with medallion scenes in the branches. The high altarpiece at St Catherine (started 1609), with a view of Danzig, was completed by Izaak van den Blocke.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.