Urban the Painter

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(fl late 1520s; d ?Stockholm, between 1568 and 1574). Swedish painter, possibly of German birth. He was in the service of the Swedish king Gustav I (reg 1523–60) from the late 1520s and of the succeeding kings Erik XIV (reg 1560–68) and John III (reg 1568–92). The best-known work attributed to him, albeit uncertainly, is the Vädersolstavlan (1535) in Stockholm Cathedral. It commemorates a celestial phenomenon believed to be an omen. The importance of the work is due to the fact that it is thought to be the earliest example of Swedish landscape painting and that it contains the earliest depiction of medieval Stockholm. The somewhat fantastical quality of the surrounding hilltops and the high skyline suggest influences from the German Danube school, of which Albrecht Altdorfer is the best-known representative. Urban probably worked as a decorative painter at Gripsholm Castle, in particular on the decorative painting of a ceiling that is otherwise attributed to Anders Larsson.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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