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Matthias

Gerung

Artistic period 1501 to 1550

Nationality

German

Birth

ca. 1500 (Nördlingen)

Death

ca.1570 (Lauingen)

Biography

Matthias Gerung, in older literature also Mathias Geron (* about 1500 in Nördlingen; † 1570 in Lauingen), was a German painter and woodcutter.

He was probably the son of the shoemaker Matthias († 1521) from Nördlingen, who was called a violinist, and was possibly apprenticed to Hans Schäufelin. Older literature also described him as a pupil of Hans Burgkmair. In 1525 Gerung moved to Lauingen in the then Duchy of Pfalz-Neuburg. There he was married to Anna Reiser, who was possibly the daughter of the Lauinger painter Matthes Reiser († about 1519), whose workshop Matthias Gerung could have taken over in Lauingen. The couple had two sons, Hans and Ambrosius.

In Lauingen Gerung is mentioned in the tax lists until 1568. In addition to being a painter, he is also mentioned as a wagon master and sealant. From 153031 he carried out numerous commissions for the Palatine Count Ottheinrich, including the wallpaper design of Neuburg Castle, the production of genealogical tapestries, and above all the illustration of the Ottheinrich Bible, which today is one of the most precious illuminated manuscripts in the world. Gerung added a total of 117 illustrations to the Bible, which he had begun some 100 years earlier, and his activities are documented in two treaties dating from 1530 and 1531.

Gerung's detailed panel paintings, such as The Melancholy in the Garden of Life around 1558 (owned by the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe) or the depiction of Charles V's army camp near Lauingen from 1551 (created for the town hall in Lauingen, with a self-portrait of Gerung in the right half of the picture) provide information about life in the 16th century today. In addition to works that can be clearly attributed to Gerung, satirical woodcuts critical of the pope are also attributed to the Reformation period.