Published: HG CIII-CIV Jonas Umbach

The volumes CIII-CIV are dedicated to the the work of Jonas Umbach.

Jonas Umbach was a painter whose œuvre unfortunately is almost unknown to us except for a few altar pieces in Bavarian churches. Losses during World War II have further decimated our knowledge. He received commissions from the major religious orders, especially the Benedictines, the Jesuits and the Augustinian Canons. His high social standing can be deduced from the fact that he became chamber painter to the bishop (Bischöflicher Kammermaler) and member of the Large Council (Großer Rat) of Augsburg. Little is known about his biography. Coming from an Augsburg family of craftsmen with a connection to the Fuggers, he trained as a painter. Apart from a possible trip to the Netherlands he will have travelled to Italy. After the end of the Thirty Years’ War, he returned to his home town in 1652, the same year that the excellent Johann Heinrich Schönfeld settled there. In the absence paintings, Umbach mostly stands out as a draughtsman. A number of his sheets are preserved in print rooms around the world. He had a fluent hand, preferring chalk above other means. Compared to Schönfeld, his figures are more earthbound and his spaces more compact and less suggestive than those of the famous colleague fifteen years his senior. Venetian as well as Netherlandish styles, so influential in the second half of the 17th century, can easily be detected in his sheets, too. Many of the drawings were made for contemporary printmakers of whom almost 400 prints after Umbach are known. With these and over 260 etchings by his own hand he therefore also figures in the glorious history of print­making in Augsburg that would only reach its apogee a century after Umbach’s time.

Published in 2022
Compiler: Dieter Beaujean
Editor: Gero Seelig

  • ± 1 minute