Benedikt Wurzelbauer

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(b Nuremberg, 25 Sept 1548; d Nuremberg, 2 Oct 1620). German metal-founder. He was among the last of Nuremberg's famous metal-founders, following the Vischer and the Labenwolf families. His mother Barbara was the daughter of Pankraz Labenwolf, and he trained with and later worked for his uncle Georg Labenwolf. Two misconceptions exist in most literature on Wurzelbauer and the Labenwolfs. Firstly, although numerous statuettes and reliefs have been attributed to them by Bange and other scholars, these artists were metal-founders not sculptors. In virtually every case, their role was to cast the image in metal; the design and the carving of the model were tasks executed by sculptors, such as Hans Peisser and Johann Gregor van der Schardt. As their portion of the project was the last and most expensive, Wurzelbauer and the Labenwolfs were frequently mentioned in the documents. Proud of their achievements, they occasionally signed the completed work. Secondly, Wurzelbauer and the other Nuremberg metal-casters used brass, rather than bronze as has been thought by previous scholars. Recent research has demonstrated that the Nuremberg artists included a much higher percentage of zinc in their copper alloy, thus making brass, than most other German founders who blended more tin with their copper to form bronze.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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