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Beham, Hans Sebald [German, 1500-1550] 











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Beham, Hans Sebald [German, 1500-1550]

[ 16th Century Artists ]

Hans Sebald Beham (1500–1550), was a German Artist and Illuminator. Born to a family of artists, Hans Sebald Beham created an enormous body of work, including nearly 2,000 prints. His tiny engravings of widely varied subjects put him among the German printmakers whom scholars call the Little Masters. Known for both his intricate craft and his interest in depicting peasant life, Beham was equally comfortable in larger woodcut formats. He also designed playing cards, wallpaper, coats of arms, and patterns for other artists. Beham illuminated a prayerbook for Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg, archbishop of Mainz, and also created his only surviving painting for the cardinal.

In 1525 three “godless painters” — Hans Sebald, his brother Barthel Beham, and Georg Pencz — were banished from Nuremberg for asserting that they did not believe in baptism, Christ, or transubstantiation. They were able to return within months, but Beham was exiled again in 1528 for publishing a book believed to plagiarize an Albrecht Dürer manuscript. From about 1532 he worked in Frankfurt.

Sebald was a prolific printmaker. Apart from the eighteen etchings and 252 engravings he published himself, he designed for other publishers some 1500 woodcuts, including broadsheets and book illustrations. His sole surviving painting is an extraordinary table top dated 1534 (Musée du Louvre, Paris), which shows Renaissance architecture in perspective, and includes a self-portrait and a portrait of the patron, Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg.

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 Beham in the eighth lecture, or in the entire lecture series.


  Beham, Hans Sebald [German, 1500-1550]

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