Georg Pencz

Dates1484/1485 - 1545
BornBreslau (possibly), Germany
DiedLeipzig, Germany

One of the "Little Masters" who made tiny, intricate, and influential prints, Georg Pencz always retained the influence of Albrecht Dürer, whose Nuremberg workshop he entered in 1523. Pencz also kept up with current trends in Italy, varying his style throughout his career.

After being banished from Nuremberg in 1525 along with the other "godless painters" Hans Sebald Beham and Barthel Beham for asserting disbelief in baptism, Christ, or transubstantiation, Pencz probably went to northern Italy. Within months, the three were pardoned, and Pencz became Nuremberg's city painter in 1532. He often painted large-scale ceiling decorations on canvas.

About 1539 Pencz returned to Italy, visiting Rome for the first time. Back in Nuremberg in 1540, he earned his greatest success as a portraitist. Ten years later Albert, duke of Prussia, named him court painter, but Pencz died en route to the post.