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Last updated: 1/25/2017
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Hans Schäufelein (German, 1480/85-1538/48): Saints and Martyrs

Schäufelein: Passion (1507) / Schäufelein: Plenarium (1515) / Schäufelein: Saints and Martyrs

German 16th century prints: Heinrich Aldegrever, Jost Amman, Hans Sebald Beham, Hans Brosamer, Hans Burgkmair, Lucas Cranach, Hans Holbein (After), Hopfer Brothers, Georg Pencz, Aegidius Sadeler, Hans Schäufelein, Virgil Solis, Wolfgang Stuber.

Dürer: Large Passion / Dürer: Small Woodcut Passion / Dürer: Engraved Passion / Dürer: Other Passion
Dürer: Life of the Virgin / Dürer: Holy Family / Dürer: Saints and Martyrs / Dürer: Other Images
Ship of Fools 1 / Ship of Fools 2 / Ship of Fools 3 / Ship of Fools 4 / Copies After Durer

Images of Women in Renaissance Prints and Drawings
Hans Schäufelein was one of Dürer's first group of journeymen and even after he had become a master himself and had developed his own style he retained Dürer's friendship and confidence. Nothing is known about the date and place of Hans Schäufelein's birth or his initial training, but he is considered to have been born c. 1480/1485. Although often called Hans Leonhard Schäufelein, there is apparently no documentation for the name Leonhard. Schäufelein probably entered Albrecht Dürer's Nuremberg workshop c. 1503/1504 and Dürer's influence is evident in Schäufelein's earliest graphic works, the woodcuts he produced for Der Beschlossen Gart der Rosenkranz, published by Ulrich Pinder in 1505, and in 1507 the illustrations to the Speculum Passionis Domini Nostri Ihesu Christi. According to the Getty Museum biography, 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. At the time of Dürer's second trip to Italy, Schäufelein seems to have held a responsible position in the shop, for he painted, partly from Dürer's designs, the Ober-Sankt Veit altarpiece, commissioned by Elector Friedrich the Wise and his brother John, possibly for a church in Nuremberg. Schäufelein left Nuremberg around 1507; he seems to have gone first to Augsburg where he may have worked in the shop of Hans Holbein the Elder. His first dated painting is the Crucifixion with John the Baptist and King David of 1508, and around this time he begins to sign works with the combination of his monogram in ligature and a small shovel (Schaufel). Schäufelein journeyed to Tirol in 1509/1510, where in Niederlana bei Meran he painted scenes of the Passion on the wings of an altarpiece carved a local artist, Hans Schnatterpeck. 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. He returned to Augsburg in 1510 where he was active both as a painter and a designer of woodcuts; in 1513 he painted a large altarpiece with scenes of the Passion and the Apocalypse for the high altar of the Benedictine abbey at Auhausen, near the Swabian city of Nördlingen. In 1515 Schäufelein moved to Nördlingen and quickly obtained citizenship. This began a decade of great productivity which saw several painted commissions, as well as numerous woodcuts for projects ordered by Maximilian I. Schäufelein remained active in Nördlingen well into the 1530s and it was the influence and example of Dürer that remained paramount for him throughout his career. He was an important and talented continuator of the Dürer style. Among his last works are the illuminations of 1537/1538 in a prayer book done for the Counts of Oettingen. Hans Schäufelein died sometime between 1538 and 11 November 1540, when his wife is mentioned as a widow. (Drawn from the web-biographies of the Natianal Gallery of Art and the Getty Museum).

In her recent study, Albrecht Dürer: A Biography (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), Jane Campbell Hutchinson, talks about the remarkable generosity with which Dürer ran his workshop. By 1503, Dürer had three journeymen, Hans Süss, Hans Schäufelein, and Hans Baldung. "Dürer not only taught these three young men, and assigned them portions of the workshop projects, but helped them to begin earning independently—Schäufelein, for example, was permitted to sign certain works as his own as early as 1504. . . . Dürer's students were allowed to develop their own styles, rather than simply being set to copy the work of the master" (pp. 109-10). Hutchison notes as well that "Dürer enjoyed great rapport with the young men who were his first journeymen, and they remained his friends throughout their lives. At times, even after they had 'graduated' from his workshop he loaned them his own drawings" (p. 112). When Dürer traveled to the Netherlands in 1519-1521, he took along prints by Baldung and Schäufelein and sold them on their behalf when he could (p. 159). Although Schäufelein had some important painting commissions, seems to have devoted most of his career to printmaking, producing over 1000 woodcuts for books (see bibliography below for sources of information about the range of his works.

Selected Bibliography: Tilman Falk, ed., The Illustrated Bartsch 11: Burgkmair, de Negker, Schaufelein, Cranach (NY: Abaris Books, 1985); M. Consuelo Oldenbourg, Die Buchholzschnitte Des Hans Schaufelein (Baden-Baden: Heitz, 1964), 2 vols; Karl Heinz Schreyl, Hans Schäufelein Das Druckgraphische Werk (Nördlingen: Dr. Alfons Uhl, 1990), 2 vols.
The Holy Apostles (Oldenbourg 484). Original woodcut for the Via felicitatis / The way to felicity, 1513. St Peter (with the keys, front, left), St John the Evangelist (with the cup, center), and St Paul (with the sword, front, right) head up the Apostles, who usher us into the Via felicitatis. A good dark impression showing several small breaks in the border and printing clearly throughout; small margins on all sides. Top right, above the border, an ink stain is showing through from the verso. Signed with the monogram center bottom. Illustration life size. Image size: 100x64mm. Price: $850.
The Virgin as Sorrowing Mother with Simeon (Schreyll 732, Oldenbourg 502). Original hand-colored woodcut for the Plenarium, Basel, 1514. A good dark impression showing one small break in the border lower right corner and printing clearly throughout; small margins on all sides. Illustration life size. Image size: 92x65mm. Price: $1600.
Saints Peter and Paul Preaching (Schreyl 631, Oldenbourg 420?). Original woodcut for the Leben der Heiligen / Lives of the Saints (Augsburg, 1513). A good dark impression showing one small break in the border and printing clearly throughout; small margins on all sides. Illustration life size. Image size: 85x69mm. Price: $750.
The Stoning of St. Stephen (Schreyl 563, Oldenbourg 352?). Original woodcut for the Leben der Heiligen / Lives of the Saints (Augsburg, 1513). A very good dark impression showing no breaks in the border and printing clearly throughout; small margins on all sides. Illustration life size. Image size: 85x68mm. Price: $750.
Martyrdom of Saint Barbara (Schreyl 554, Oldenbourg 230). Original woodcut for the Leben der Heiligen / Lives of the Saints (Augsburg, 1513). A very good dark impression showing no breaks in the border and printing clearly throughout; small margins on all sides. Illustration life size. Image size: 84x68mm. Price: $850.
Martyrdom of St. George (Schreyl 619). Original woodcut for the Leben der Heiligen / Lives of the Saints (Augsburg, 1513). A very good dark impression showing no breaks in the border and printing clearly throughout; small margins on all sides. Illustration life size. Image size: 85x68mm. Price: $1000.
Martyrdom of Saint Thomas (Schreyl 561). Original woodcut for the Leben der Heiligen / Lives of the Saints (Augsburg, 1513). A very good dark impression showing some wear at the lower right side of the image, right below where, at the prayers of the soon-to-be-martyred saint, an idol breaks and falls. Otherwise, no breaks in the border and printing clearly throughout; small margins on all sides. Illustration life size. Image size: 85x68mm. Price: $750.

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