Georg Pencz

Between Nuremberg, Cracow and Königsberg

  • Katrin Dyballa (Autor/in)


Both the mobility of artists and the mobility of artworks are discussed based on the example of Georg Pencz, who rose to become Nuremberg’s leading painter following the death of Albrecht Dürer. Becoming an “honourable servant” in 1532, Pencz found himself in a fairly comfortable position; he received a small annual salary, and it certainly became much easier for him to build up his own complex network and to be part of a network. All this was the prerequisite for him being commissioned to work on prestigious projects such as the Silveraltar, which was made for the burial chapel of the Polish King Sigismund I (reign 1506-1548). But his prominent position also allowed Pencz to generate interest among a number of people. Ultimately Pencz became mobile through a combination of fortunate factors, including his own skills, his position, his relationships and a generous offer. Becoming a court painter in Königsberg was a great step in his career, which unfortunately ended somewhat abruptly when he died after only around four weeks in his new role.