Hans von Kulmbach

Datesabout 1480 - 1522

Hans Süss von Kulmbach was the most prominent painter to emerge from Albrecht Dürer's Nuremberg workshop. They collaborated closely, but Kulmbach was never a slave to Dürer's style. Kulmbach's paintings and stained-glass designs display vivid color and a tenderness uniquely his own.

Kulmbach probably arrived in Nuremberg around 1505, apprenticing first to a painter and printmaker. His liquid, luminous handling of oil paint and the fine, threadlike penstrokes creating light and shadow in his drawings reflect his lifelong debt to this master.

Becoming a Nuremberg citizen in 1511 allowed Kulmbach to establish a workshop and to sign his works. After Dürer retired from painting altarpieces in 1510, Kulmbach received most of those important commissions. He also delivered at least three altarpieces to Cracow. By 1515, influenced by Albrecht Altdorfer, he adopted a romantic strain in his landscapes. Kulmbach's few portraits were imaginative yet true to life, imbued with characteristically brilliant coloring and an appealing humanity. His activity as a stained-glass designer marked a new blossoming of that art in Nuremberg.