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German family of architects and masons. (1) Jakob Zwitzel may have been related to Hans von Elchingen, who worked as a mason at Ulm Minster in 1471–2 and in 1479. Jakob was mainly active in Augsburg, where he was much influenced by the Late Gothic style of Burkhard Engelberg. Both his son (2) Bernhard Zwitzel and his grandson (3) Simon Zwitzel were also active in the Augsburg area.(1) Jacob Zwitzel [von Elchingen] (b ?Elchingen, nr Ulm, c. 1470; d Augsburg, 1540). He settled at quite an early age in Augsburg, paying taxes there in 1497 and becoming a citizen in 1505. From 1502 to 1507 he lived in the same house as the sculptor Gregor Erhart, and in 1512 he moved into the house of the painter Hans Holbein the elder, before acquiring his own house in 1513. In his early career he was associated with Burkhard Engelberg's workshop, but from 1510 he worked independently, as is shown by the noticeable rise in his tax payments. In 1509, on Engelberg's recommendation, Zwitzel contracted to build the tower of the parish church of Schwaz (Tyrol), having planned it in collaboration with Engelberg. Zwitzel did not, however, transfer his practice permanently to the Tyrol. Between 1509 and 1513 he spent only 32 weeks on the site at Schwaz; it was supervised in his absence by the foreman Konrad Vogl (fl 1509–42) from Frankfurt. The work at Schwaz brought Zwitzel other commissions in the Tyrol: in 1514 he was involved in negotiations with the church provosts about the construction of the parish church of St Paul, Eppan, and he probably designed the west façade and the proposed canopied portal.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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