Hans Baldung (Grien)
Engraver and painter Hans Baldung Grien was born c.1484 in Schwäbisch-Gmünd, Württemberg, (now Germany). He probably trained with Albrecht Dürer in Nuremberg, but his style brings him closer, in spirit, to Grünewald. Baldung was the only male member of his family not to receive a university education and it is assumed that his earliest training took place around 1499 in the Upper Rhine, perhaps with a Strassburg artist. An apprenticeship in Swabia is also a possibility.
By 1503 Baldung had moved to Nuremberg and was a member of Dürer’s workshop. In 1505 he produced, in collaboration with Dürer, most of the woodcuts from Ulrich Pinder’s book, “Beschlossen Gart” and after Dürer’s departure to Italy in 1505, he illustrated “Speculum Passionis” by the same author. It is possible that Baldung became head of the workshop in Dürer’s absence and these years saw the production of designs for stained glass, woodcuts and engravings. Dürer and Baldung remained lifelong friends and, on a visit to the Netherlands, Dürer took some of Baldung’s woodcuts to sell.
In 1507 Baldung received commissions for two alterpieces in Halle and in 1509 he returned to Strassburg where he became a citizen and later, a member of the town council. In 1512 Baldung moved to Freiburg in Breisgau to complete his most important commission, a multi-paneled high alter of the Münster (Freiburg Cathedral, eleven panels, still in place today). He completed the altarpiece in 1516 and returned to Strasbourg where he spent the rest of his life.