Colmar, Alsace (now in France)
Breisach, Baden (now in Germany)
Byname SCHÖN MARTIN, or HIPSCH (HÜBSCH) MARTIN (German: "Beautiful Martin") (b. 1445/50). Painter and printmaker. Perhaps the finest German engraver before Albrecht Dürer. According to contemporary sources, Schongauer was a prolific painter whose panels were in demand throughout Europe, however very few paintings by his hand survive. Paintings combine monumentality with tenderness, similar in manner to the great Flemish painter Rogier van der Weyden, by whom Schongauer was profoundly influenced. As an engraver Schongauer stood without rival in northern Europe during his time. His engraved work, consisting of about 115 plates, signed with his monogram, is a highly refined and sensitive manifestation of the late Gothic spirit. Technically he brought the art of engraving to maturity by expanding its range of contrasts and textures, thus introducing a painter's viewpoint into an art that had been primarily the domain of the goldsmith.