Oil on conifer wood with a white ground. In 1626, the ambitious young painter Lorenz Hess submitted a "trial work" to the Nuremberg City Council as part of his application for the status of master painter. One of the oldest interior views of the Rathaus hall, the painting shows in careful detail how the structure, dating from 1332/1340, looked in the first third of the 17th century. Hess's skill here certainly made an impression – the city fathers claimed the work for the Rathaus art gallery. Yet notwithstanding that success, they denied Hess his master status on the grounds that he could not document the requisite number of years as an apprentice and journeyman. So one year later, Hess submitted another entry – this time a portrait of the Virgin. Since the City Fathers liked the view of the Rathaus hall better, they simply kept the first "trial work" for good, and handed the second painting back to the artist.


  • Title: The Great Hall of the Nuremberg Rathaus
  • Creator: Lorenz Hess
  • Date: 1626/1629
  • Provenance: Stadtmuseum Fembohaus
  • Type: Painting

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