Meister Francke

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Francke, Meister


German painter of the 15th century; representative of the soft style.

As a student, Meister Francke probably lived in France, where he was influenced by Franco-Burgundian book miniatures. He worked in Hamburg approximately during the years 1410–25. His works include the St. Barbara altarpiece (1410; National Museum, Helsinki) and the St. Thomas altarpiece (begun 1424; Kunsthalle, Hamburg), which imbue religious subjects with intimacy and an atmosphere of everyday life.


Libman, M. Ia. Diurer i ego epokha. Moscow, 1972.
Meister Francke und die Kunst um 1400. Kunsthalle, Hamburg, 1969. (Exhibition catalog.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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I never did find the Houckgeest (one gets used to that in museums), but there were other singular things: a dark, vertical canvas filled to the top with a flower bed lit from the front - an alternative to a still life painted, surprisingly, by the young Renoir; a "Cezanne" portrait of a man, which turned out to be by Picasso; Philipp Otto Runge's obsessional portrait of three sinister children posing in a garden before a white picket fence; and, best of all, a series of religious panels by Meister Francke, which duplicated the close observation and free compositional style of this painter's miniatures on an unexpected scale and to astounding effect.