Hans Schäufelein

Dates1480/1485 - 1540

Hans Schäufelein's name literally means "little shovel"; his signature often combined a shovel with his monogram. From about 1503 he was in Albrecht Dürer's Nuremberg workshop, entrusted with painting important projects during the master's long absences. A highly prolific printmaker, Schäufelein made most of the 150 woodcuts for a 1507 collection of New Testament passages and texts. A born storyteller, he conceived his scenes as narratives, which he populated with well-observed details. Between 1508 and 1510, Schäufelein traveled to Austria, then returned to Augsburg, where he contributed to woodcut projects for Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, designed book illustrations for local publishers, painted, and designed stained glass. In 1515 he settled permanently in Nördlingen, where, as city painter, his focus shifted to painting. He painted portraits, provided a mural for the city hall, which is still in place, and designed woodcuts. He maintained contact with Nuremberg, where he met with Dürer and painted portraits and a town hall decoration. Schäufelein's later prints were usually published in Nuremberg.