Michael Pacher

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Pacher, Michael


Born circa 1435 in Bruneck, now Brunico, Italian Tirol; died 1498 in Salzburg(?). Austrian painter and sculptor (wood-carver).

Pacher’s paintings reflect the influence of Mantegna, as can be seen in the painted wings of the altarpiece in the church of St. Wolfgang on the Abersee in Upper Austria (1471–81) and in the Altarpiece of the Four Church Fathers (1475–79) in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich. The paintings reveal a transition from late Gothic art to the art of the Renaissance.

Pacher adopted the use of extreme foreshortening; his composition was clear and monumental; and he was the first south German artist to use systematic perspective. The sternly dramatic images are even more evident in Pacher’s sculpture, which is closer to the traditions of German Gothic than is his painting, as can be seen in the carvings of the altar of St. Wolfgang.


Rasmo, N. Michael Pacher. Munich, 1969.
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