Martin Schongauer.
St. John the Baptist
Engraving. Colmar, c. 1475. (BRA1068)

The most important German artist before Albrecht Dürer was Martin Schongauer, a painter and printmaker who was active at Colmar in Alsace from c. 1470 until his death in 1491. Schongauer’s prints, exemplified by this devotional image of St. John the Baptist, were the first to combine the elegant naturalism developed by the early Netherlandish painters with the graphic clarity offered by the new medium of copperplate engraving. Dürer travelled to Colmar in 1492 to study with Schongauer, but arrived shortly after the master had died.