Veit Hirschvogel the Elder
The Holy Trinity, c. 1490
ink, wash, charcoal, red pigment on paper
39.9 x 39.1 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with the S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatté Memorial Fund
Veit Hirschvogel the Elder was one of the most important glass painters working in Nuremberg in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, overseeing a large workshop. During its most productive years, the German master Albrecht Dürer, along with his students, provided the designs for various stained glass projects. Overseeing the production of these commissions, Hirschvogel became known for his elaborate compositions, which incorporated illusionistic settings that were spatially and graphically complex and greatly advanced compared to the more compartmentalized designs of earlier stained glass work. Clearly, the glass painter was responsible for much more than facilitating the mechanical transposition of another artist’s design. In this circular composition of the Holy Trinity (likely for a church rose window), a bearded God the Father is shown crowning Christ while the dove representing the Holy Ghost hovers above the two figures.