Michel Ribestein

(fl. 1539—1565)

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(fl 1539–65). German painter, draughtsman and printmaker. Trained in the Dutch school, he became court painter to Joachim II, Elector of Brandenburg (reg 1535–71), and in 1539 a citizen of Berlin. Turning away from Cranach's tradition, he produced woodcut portraits of Emperor Charles V, King Ferdinand of Hungary and Bohemia and Duke John-Frederick of Saxony (all 1547; Gotha, Schloss Friedenstein). In the last portrait, the monogram mr appears, linked to a picture of a pestle (Ger. Reibstein). Twelve dated oil-paintings from 1550–65, probably all originally memorial pictures, have survived. They include Christ Crucified between the Two Thieves (1550; Berlin) and panels such as that in the Marienkirche, Berlin (after an engraving by Lambert Suavius) and the Risen Christ (1553; after an engraving by Georg Pencz; preparatory drawing, see John Rowlands: German Drawings from a Private Collection, London, 1984, no. 45 [‘Ludwig Refinger’]). Ribestein's work is the most important by a central German painter after Lucas Cranach II. His pictures are of great interest for Protestant iconography and reveal that in mid-16th century Berlin the beginnings of a collection of copperplate engravings already existed.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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