Schön, Heinrich, the elder

(fl. 1600)

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(fl 1600; d Munich, 21 July 1640). German cabinetmaker and architect–builder. He initially held the post of cabinetmaker in 1600 at the court in Munich of Maximilian I, Duke of Bavaria (reg 1597–1651). He made doors for the Jesuit Michaelskirche in the city and in 1604 worked on the Bennobogen, a monumental choir-screen in the Frauenkirche. In 1608 he was put in charge of running the court building office: this appointment, like that of Hans Krumper in the following year, must have been made with Maximilian's extensive new building projects in mind. In 1612 Schön produced a plan for the Kaiserhof building, and in 1613 one for the new Hofgarten at the Munich Residenz. There is no evidence confirming the traditional attribution to him of the temple there. It is doubtful whether Schön ever acted as a supervising design architect, although 19th-century writers and Lieb (1941) believed this to be the case. It was part of Schön's official duties to prepare plans, even if the designs were not his own: in one of the Duke's letters (1616) regarding an enquiry for a good Munich architect, Maximilian described design activity at his court as a collective process. Schön's name appears in connection with a great variety of projects, because all building concerns under the Duke's control were the responsibility of his office. After 1608 Schön also took charge of a joinery workshop, which carried out work for institutions founded by the Duke outside Munich. For example, in 1613 he made the altar for the Heilig Blut pilgrimage church at Neukirchen; in 1614, the wooden stand for a bronze lantern for the façade of the Residenz; in 1621, the altar and choir- stalls for the Riedler-Regelhaus at Munich; and in 1628–30, the high altar for the pilgrimage church at Tuntenhausen.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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