Hans Sebald Beham (1500 - 1550)
A prolific artist in woodcuts and engravings Hans Sebald Beham was born in Nuremberg. Best known for depictions of peasant life, he produced intricate engravings of widely varied subjects often so small that he was associated with fellow print makers whom scholars call the Little Masters. Twice exiled from Nuremberg – first for heresy, then for unauthorized publication of a manuscript believed to have been written by Durer – Beham ultimately settled and worked in Frankfurt am Main, where he died.
St. Peter and St. Paul (after Beham)
Woodcut without margins, ca. 1540. 1-3/4" x 2-3/8", printed on obverse only. Good condition.
There is an original of this image by Beham, dated 1520, in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Our print is a reverse of the original, the result of the method by which source documents were copied by their imitators; it shows far less nuance and character than Beham's work. At best, it is an example of the common practice of lesser talents who exploited the work of well-known artists in the days long before copyright protection. Thanks to Mark Frumento for the clarification.