Martin Schongauer

1448 - Feb 2, 1491

Martin Schongauer, also known as Martin Schön or Hübsch Martin by his contemporaries, was an Alsatian engraver and painter. He was the most important printmaker north of the Alps before Albrecht Dürer, a younger artist who collected his work. Schongauer is the first German painter to be a significant engraver, although he seems to have had the family background and training in goldsmithing which was usual for early engravers.
The bulk of Schongauer's surviving production is 116 engravings, all with his monogram but none dated, which were well known not only in Germany, but also in Italy and even made their way to England and Spain. Vasari says that Michelangelo copied one of his engravings, in the Trial of Saint Anthony. His style shows no trace of Italian influence, but a very clear and organised Gothic, which draws from both German and Early Netherlandish painting.
Recent scholarship, building on the work of Max Lehrs, attributes 116 engravings to him, with many also being copied by other artists, as was common in the period.
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