Schongauer, Martin

Schongauer, Martin

(mär`tēn shōn`gou-ər), 1430–91, German engraver and painter, son of a goldsmith of Colmar, Alsace. Schongauer's only certain painting is Madonna of the Rose Arbor (1473; Church of St. Martin, Colmar). The strong figures and faces are treated with the almost metallic sharpness and linearity that later characterized his engravings. There also exist fragments of a mural in the Church of St. Stephen, Breisach, where he lived (1488–91). His work shows Flemish influences, particularly of Roger van der Weyden and Dierick Bouts. Schongauer is best known for his remarkable engravings of religious subjects. He produced 115 engravings signed with his monogram, M+S. Executed with exceptional virtuosity, they were of great importance for the development of German art and were particularly admired by Dürer. Outstanding examples of Schongauer's engraving are The Wise and Foolish Virgins, The Passion, Bearing the Cross, Death of the Virgin, Adoration of the Magi, Christ Enthroned, and Temptation of St. Anthony. Schongauer was one of the earliest engravers to use copper for reproduction and contributed much to the development of the art.


See his complete engravings, ed. by A. Shestack (1970).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Schongauer, Martin


(also Schön Martin). Born between 1435 and 1440 in Colmar, now in France; died Feb. 2, 1491, in Breisach, Baden. German graphic artist and painter.

Schongauer studied in the Netherlands, where he was greatly influenced by Rogier van der Weyden. Schongauer worked in Colmar and Breisach beginning in 1483. He is known for his paintings, including Madonna in a Rose Garden (1473), and especially for his copper etchings, such as The Temptation of Saint Anthony, The Annunciation, Calvary, Madonna in a Courtyard, Peasants Going to Market, and a series of passion scenes. These works are distinguished by expressiveness of form, and several are examples of harmonious, clear composition. Schongauer’s works combine features of the late Gothic and the early Renaissance. They had a significant influence on the masters of the German Renaissance, including A. Dürer.


Flechsig, E. Martin Schongauer. Strassburg, 1951.
Winzinger, F. Die Zeichnungen M. Schongauers. Berlin, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.