Hermann Weyer

Dates1596 - after 1621
BornCoburg, Germany

Little is known of Hermann Weyer's life and artistic development except that his father was a painter in Coburg and his brother also worked there as a portrait painter. Weyer probably specialized as a draftsman; only his drawings, which are dated between 1607 and 1621, exist today. His highly finished style demonstrates that he intended them as independent works. Nothing is known about his training, but by about 1615 Weyer had developed his own Mannerist style, revealing nothing about his teachers. Around 1616 he visited the Netherlands; his drawings from this period show his new awareness of Netherlandish art.

Though no prints based on his drawings are known, Weyer often used a technique recalling chiaroscuro woodcuts: dramatic and somewhat dark tonality, ocher wash combined with white bodycolor, and strong black ink lines. He usually depicted biblical and historical scenes, focusing on figural groups in landscapes. Many of Weyer's drawings, probably from sketchbooks, cover both recto and verso.