Wolfgang Katzheimer the Elder

Datesactive 1478 - 1508
NationalityGerman

Wolfgang Katzheimer the Elder ran a painting and woodcarving workshop in Bamberg from 1465. Both the town and the bishop's court commissioned him to supply objects for everyday use; he also designed stained-glass windows, but none are known today. The two existing carved stone pieces based on his ideas reflect the sculptors' styles more than that of their designer. Little of his work has survived.

The only basis for judging Katzheimer's style are twenty-two woodcuts in a book published in 1507, for which he supplied the preliminary drawings. The compositions are simple, with figures lined up horizontally, diagonally or in tiers, the traditional way to suggest depth; the interior spaces are usually represented by outlines.

No documented paintings by Katzheimer have survived, but scholars have compared paintings with his woodcuts, thus attributing several to him and his workshop. His figures display highly charged, almost caricatured emotionalism, demonstrating an awareness of Martin Schongauer's art. Katzheimer often supplemented his main scene with vignettes from everyday life, packed with details.