Master of the Tucher Altarpiece

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(fl c. 1430–50). German painter. He is named after an altarpiece (c. 1445–50) that has been in the Frauenkirche, Nuremberg, since the early 19th century and known as the Tucher Altarpiece since at least 1615, when the Tucher family paid for its restoration on transfer from its original location in the Augustinerkirche to the Kartäuserkirche, both in Nuremberg. The Master belonged to a generation of painters, including Konrad Witz and Hans Multscher, recognized for their tough, sculptural-seeming realism. Unlike Witz, however, he eschewed the representation of space and concentrated on solid form, especially that of the human figure, as exemplified by the three scenes that make up the altarpiece's central panel, a Crucifixion flanked by an Annunciation (left) and Resurrection (right). The figures are placed with a minimum of mise-en-scène against a tooled gold ground. Elaborate, Late Gothic tracery in the form of a running baldacchino projects out over the figures as if they actually existed in relief and were not just painted. Frequently noted is the still-life that appears as part of the setting for the Vision of St Augustine, painted on the exterior of the right wing. Distributed on two shelves in the saint's study, this still-life resembles those placed in niches above the figures of prophets by the Master of the Aix Annunciation (1445; Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.; Amsterdam, Rijksmus., on loan to Paris, Louvre). However, neither the similarity of these motifs nor other stylistic evidence has been sufficient to reconstruct a clear history of this master outside Nuremberg. Eight works have been attributed to him (Stange, 1978), including multi-panelled altarpieces.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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