Johann Willinges

(c. 1560—1625)

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(b Oldenburg, c. 1560; d Lübeck, 24 [?14] Aug 1625). German painter and draughtsman. From 1590, through his marriage to a painter's widow, he was a master in the Lübeck painters’ guild, which he headed in 1594 and 1605. He received numerous commissions, usually from private donors, for church furnishings, epitaphs and portraits. His training in Venice is clearly apparent in his works; Jacopo Tintoretto (1519–94) in particular had a lasting influence. A leading representative of north German Mannerism, he was regarded in Lübeck as an inventive painter, but in fact his paintings derived not only from works by Tintoretto but, above all, from engravings by Jan Sadeler I, Crispijn van de Passe I and Adrian Collaert, which reappear, for example, in his paintings of Old Testament scenes and allegories (1597) on the panelling of the Lübeck Rathaus (now St Annen-Kloster). Following the destruction of his main works, a rood screen (1591–5; Lübeck, Marienkirche) and a Crucifixion (Lübeck, Petrikirche), evaluation of his paintings is difficult. More accessible are his few drawings, according to Geissler (1979–80 exh. cat.) derived from Christoph Schwarz and his Munich school: they have a looser line and show a freer and more independent treatment of mainly mythological motifs.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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