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Hans Brosamer

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Hans Brosamer

*  1495 Fulda
† 1554 Erfurt


The painter and graphic artist Hans Brosamer occupied one of the front ranks among the so-called Kleinmeister (Little Masters) of German Renaissance art.
Little is known about the life of Hans Brosamer. It seems to be very likely that he was born and active in Fulda for several reasons: Hans Brosamer made a portrait of the Fulda chancellor Johann von Otthera in 1536, which he fully signed, and his signature on a crucifixion engraving reads "Johannes Brosamer Fuldae degens faciebat 1542".
Around the middle or second half of the 1540s Hans Brosamer seems to have moved to Erfurt. As "Hans Brosamer Formschneider zu Erffordt" he signed a woodcut portrait of the landgrave Philipp of Hesse, and he had his woodcuts from the series "Bathseba im Bade" printed in Erfurt.
Full signatures are extremely rare in Hans Brosamer´s oeuvre, however, a quite large body of works has been ascribed to him, all of which are inscribed with the monogram "HB". As far as the paintings are concerned, they are mostly realistic portraits, often with green backgrounds, brownish flesh tints and high material value, as well as many virtuous graphic works (copper engravings, woodcuts and book illustrations). His prints are dominated by religious and mythological scenes, but also by genre scenes and architectural scenes that follow the model of the Dutch artists. With his widely spread prints, Hans Brosamer was quite influential on the art of his epoch.
In terms of style, the works by Hans Brosamer resonance the Cranach surroundings, but also the works by the engravers Heinrich Aldegrever and Jakob Binck. At times experts assume that for these different sources of inspiration that there may have been two artists named Hans Brosamer. However, no proof has been delivered for this thesis.
Hans Brosamer died at Erfurt after 1554.