Stefan Lochner

1410 - 1451

Stefan Lochner was a German painter working in the late "soft style" of the International Gothic. His paintings combine that era's tendency toward long flowing lines and brilliant colours with the realism, virtuoso surface textures and innovative iconography of the early Northern Renaissance. Based in Cologne, a commercial and artistic hub of northern Europe, Lochner was one of the most important German painters before Albrecht Dürer. Extant works include single-panel oil paintings, devotional polyptychs and illuminated manuscripts, which often feature fanciful and blue-winged angels. Today some thirty-seven individual panels are attributed to him with confidence.
Less is known of his life. Art historians associating the Dombild Master with the historical Stefan Lochner believe he was born in Meersburg in south-west Germany around 1410, and that he spent some of his apprenticeship in the Low Countries. Records further indicate that his career developed quickly but was cut short by an early death. We know that he was commissioned around 1442 by the Cologne council to provide decorations for the visit of Emperor Frederick III, a major occasion for the city.
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