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Known as Grien or Grun, from his fondness for brilliant green, both in his own costume and in his pictures, a vigorous and distinguished painter, engraver, and draughtsman on wood, b. at Gmund, Swabia, about 1476; d. at Strasburg, 1545. Baldung was a lifelong friend of Dürer and received a lock of the latter's hair when he died. Dürer influenced Baldung's work, as did Matthaeus Grunewald and Martin Schongauer. His portraits, when unsigned, have at times passed as the work of that greater master, Dürer. An exceptional draughtsman and a good colourist, Baldung's work is marked by an original and fertile imagination. He is thought to have worked with Dürer at Nuremberg for two years, assisting him and painting under his eye the copies of "Adam and Eve" now in the Pitti Gallery at Florence. He became a citizen of Strasburg in 1509, and was made senator the year of his death.
Baldung spent seven years at Freiburg in the Breisgau, where, in a monastery, is found his most famous work, an altar piece, the central portion showing "The Coronation of the Virgin", the wings bearing on the inside the Apostles and on the outside four scenes from the life of Our Lady. Two altar pieces in the Convent of Lichenthal, near Baden-Baden, are assumed to be his earliest works. Baldung's paintings are chiefly in public galleries at Berlin, Vienna, Munich, Stuttgart, Prague, Darmstadt, Basle, Karlsrughe, Aschaffenburg, and Frankfort. In the Berlin Museum are "Christ on the Cross" (two pictures), a triptych "Adoration of the Kings", with saints on the interior and exterior of the wings, and "The Stoning of Saint Stephen"; in the Munich Pinakothek, the portrait of his friend, Margrave Phillipp Christoph of Baden; at Vienna in the Museum, the "portrait of a Young Man", and a portrait of himself in green; in the Academy, a "Holy Family"; in the Liechtenstein Gallery, "The Ages of Man in Six Female Figures", and a "Madonna"; in the Schonborn Gallery, "Adam and Eve".
Champlin and Perkens, Cyclopedia of Painters and Painting (New York, 1886-87); Bryan, Dictionary of Painters and Engravers (London and New York, 1903-05).
AUGUSTUS VAN CLEEF