- Baldung-Grien, Hans
▪ German artistborn c. 1484, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Württemberg [Germany]died 1545, Imperial Free City of Strasbourg [now Strasbourg, Fr.]painter and graphic artist, one of the most outstanding figures in northern Renaissance art. He served as an assistant to Albrecht Dürer (Dürer, Albrecht), whose influence is apparent in his early works, although the demonic energy of his later style is closer to that of Matthias Grünewald.His work is extensive and varied. It ranges from religious paintings and secular portraits to designs for tapestries and stained glass. He is noted for representations of the Virgin Mary, in which he combined landscapes, figures, light, and colour with an almost magical serenity. His portrayals of age, on the other hand, have a sinister character and a mannered virtuosity. His best known work in painting is the High Altar of the cathedral at Freiburg im Breisgau, Ger., for which he also designed the stained-glass choir windows.Baldung-Grien's paintings are equalled in importance by his extensive body of drawings, engravings, and woodcuts of an intense vitality. The Totentanz (“dance of death”) and the “death and the maiden” theme occur frequently in his graphic works. An early supporter of the Reformation, he executed a woodcut in which Martin Luther is protected by the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove.Baldung-Grien was a member of the Strasbourg town council, as well as official painter to the episcopate. His works also appear in the church at Elzach and the museums of Basel, Karlsruhe, Cologne, Freiburg, and Nürnberg.
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