Traut (von Speyer)

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German family of artists. Two painters named Hans von Speyer were in Nuremberg between 1477 and 1516. The ‘Hans Traut painter’ granted citizenship in 1477 may be the ‘Hans Drack v. Speyer’ recorded as dying in 1488. This artist—Hans Traut I—was probably the father of (1) Hans Traut von Speyer II, whose work is documented only after 1488. The latter in turn was probably the father of (2) Wolf(gang) Traut, who worked in the circle of Albrecht Dürer. No work by Hans Traut I is documented: six wings from a St Augustine altar (1482–7; Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.), formerly ascribed to him, have a monumental style and deep colouring that distinguishes them from the known work of the Traut family, despite the shared element of a rich landscape background.(1) Hans Traut von Speyer II (fl Heilsbronn, 1488; d Heilsbronn, 1516). Painter and wood-carver. He is first mentioned as working at Heilsbronn between 1488 and 1495, being paid for various contributions to the new Cistercian abbey building. Of these only fragments of a frescoed Legend of St Bernard and carvings (1494) of figures and heraldry in the abbey ceiling survive. Nuremberg town register makes note of his ‘transgression and repentance’ in 1490: he became a citizen in 1491. He is also mentioned in Weimar in 1491–3, Leipzig in 1495 and Eichstätt in 1499. The principal basis for attributions to Traut is the signed and dated altar at Nuremberg-Katzwang (1498; Marienkirche). Around a carved Virgin of c. 1420 Traut painted scenes from her life in the wings. The light colours and neat doll-like figures are out of kilter with contemporary Nuremberg painting, revealing a Middle-Rhenish influence in their mild, phlegmatic configuration. There is an elaborate landscape background with a town behind the figures in the Visitation. Two wings with 14 auxiliary saints (Bamberg, Neue Residenz, Staatsgal.) contain similar doll-like figures.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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