Hans Berthold

(fl. c. 1456—1471)

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(fl 1456–c. 1471). Architect active in Poland. He is mentioned several times in the council archives of Wrocław (Ger. Breslau) in association with Master Francz. In 1456 both men were engaged to do repair work on the church of St Barbara, built c. 1400. The Late Gothic south doorway is probably by Berthold: its slender colonnettes display typical leaf bracts. In a contract of 1465, the cathedral chapter hired the ‘masons’ Hans Berthold and Master Francz to work on a porch on the west façade of the cathedral, which was dedicated to St John the Baptist. This contract, which was supposed to be fulfilled within a year, was extended by another year in 1467. The west towers date from between 1420 and 1430; the porch, although started in 1465, is still French High Gothic in style, similar to that at Amiens Cathedral. In front of the tower piers near the west doorway two powerful free-standing piers were erected to support the vaulting. These piers, which are richly decorated with column statues, protrude beyond the alignment of the hall for half their height to support the housing for the statues of the saints that stand above them. The pointed wall arch breaks away low down from two especially powerful, squat three-quarter columns. The columns of the porch are entwined with Berthold's characteristic foliage and leaf bracts. Similar work also appears on the columns supporting the vaulting in the choir of the church of St Bernard. A notice from the council dated 30 December 1466 allocates a payment to ‘Master Hannos, the mason who already accommodated us over the west porch of the cathedral, on account of the masonry and all the work he has done on the church and choir … at St Bernhardin’. Berthold also worked on the decoration (1471–1504) of the town hall (before 1299).

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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