Hans von Kulmbach in Poland

On the writing of the story

  • Masza Sitek (Autor/in)


In the mid-19th century, a certain case of artistic mobility in the early Renaissance entered the agenda of Polish, and subsequently German, antiquarianism and art history. The artist in question was the presumed student of Albrecht Dürer, Hans Suess von Kulmbach (d. 1522), whose name was eventually linked to a number of high-quality paintings dispersed among Cracow churches and private collections. At the same time, a controversy erupted over the supposition that the painter behind the masterpieces had resided in Cracow and developed manifold relationships with the local milieu. In the face of scarce and inconclusive evidence, the answers successively offered in the debate have proven closely dependent on changing methodological as well as political factors.