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Michael Wolgemut

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Painter and engraver, b. at Nuremberg, 1434; d. there, 1519. He was the most prominent artist of Nuremberg in the fifteenth century, and was selected to paint the great altar-piece for the church of Zwickau. He was the pupil and assistant of Hans Playdenwurff, and, though a very great master, must not be regarded as the equal of Pleydenwurff, whose technique he carefully copied and adopted. Perhaps his greatest claim to immortality is the fact that he was Dürer's master, working with him between 1486 and 1490. "At that time the workshop of Wolgemut must have been one of the busiest in the city, frequented", says Mr. Campbell Dodgson, "by all the best painters, carvers, and wood engravers of the day." Whether Wolgemut himself was a wood engraver is not definitely known, but undoubtedly many of the altar-pieces carved in wood were carved in his workshop, and Veitoss the eminent carver, was one of his friends and companions, and worked with him in the production of carved and painted altar-pieces. He was certainly responsible for some wood-cuts, and the designs for several stained glass windows in Nuremberg are also attributed to him. His most important picture after that of Zurcken is in the parish church at Crailsheim; other paintings by him are at Schwaback, Hersbruck, Munich, and Nuremberg. He was an ardent Catholic, and a man of great devotion, praised by his contemporaries for his upright life.

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