Stefan Lochner, (born c. 1410, Meersburg am Bodensee, Bishopric
of Constance — died 1451, Cologne), late Gothic painter, considered
to be the greatest representative of the school of Cologne. He is known
primarily for his highly mystical religious paintings.
Little is known of his early life, but he is thought to have studied in
the Netherlands, possibly under Robert Campin (currently identified with
the Master of Flémalle), whose influence is evident in the treatment
of the drapery and the careful rendering of detail in what may be Lochner's
earliest extant painting, “St. Jerome in His Cell.”
Lochner settled in Cologne about 1430. The earliest work he did there was
an altarpiece for the church of St. Laurenz. The abundance of minute
observation reflects his continued interest in Netherlandish art. But in
the central panel he bound the various themes into a unified composition
through the use of a dominating rhythmic design.
In the later 1430s Lochner must have been in the Netherlands again, where
he encountered the art of van Eyck. The first work to reflect this influence
is the “Madonna with the Violet” (c. 1443). Van Eyck's influence
is most noticeable in Lochner's chief work, the great town hall altarpiece
much admired by Dürer. In this “Altar of the Patron Saints,”
Lochner adds to the idealism of the older painters of the Cologne school
with a wealth of naturalistic observation in the figures, while the
sculpture-like draperies lend them a monumental dignity. In 1447 he became
a member of the town council, and from the same year dates the splendid
“Presentation in the Temple.” The exquisite “Madonna
of the Rose Bower” was painted soon afterward.
Lochner became one of Cologne's greatest painters, combining naturalism
with a masterful sense of colour and design into a festal solemnity of
representation. His work forms perhaps the most successful visual
interpretation of late medieval German mysticism before Grünewald.
Book illumination was also done in his workshop.
From October of 1916 through January of 1917, Rudolf Steiner gave a series
of nine lectures known as the Art Course. These lectures were given
the title of:
The History of Art.
Click here to discover what Steiner said about
in the third lecture, or in the entire