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Hans Baldung (Hans Baldung Grien)
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1500-1506 in Nürnberg, pupil of Dürer. 1509 in Strassburg, 1511-1517 in Freiburg im Breisgau,1517-1545 in Strassburg. Painter and graphic artist, one of the most outstanding figures in northern Renaissance art. He served as assistant to Albrecht Dürer, whose influence is apparent in his early works, although the demonic energy of his later style is more like that of Matthias Grünewald. His work is vast and varied. Paintings range from religious subjects and secular portraits while designs include tapestries and stained glass. He is noted for representations of the Virgin Mary, in which he combined landscapes, figures, light, and color with serene harmony. His portrayals of age, on the other hand, combine a sinister character with a mannered virtuosity. His best-known work is the High Altar of the cathedral at Freiburg in Breisgau, Ger., for which he also designed the stained-glass choir windows. Baldung-Grien also left an important and extensive body of drawings, engravings, and woodcuts of an intense vitality. The Totentanz ("dance of death") and the "death and the maiden" theme occur frequently in his graphic works. An early supporter of the Reformation, he executed a woodcut in which Martin Luther is protected by the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. Baldung-Grien was a member of the Strasbourg town council, as well as official painter to the episcopate. His works also appear in the church at Elzach and the museums of Basel, Karlsruhe, Cologne, Freiburg, and Nürnberg.