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Art  &  Artist



Hans Asper



Asper Hans     Pages: 1

(b Zurich, c. 1499; d Zurich, 21 March 1571).

 Swiss painter and draughtsman. He may have been the son of Heinrich Asper, from an old family of Zurich councillors. As there is no surviving evidence relating to his life until 1526, and no sign of his artistic activity until 1531, when it suddenly appears fully developed, it has been suggested that he was originally active in another profession. There is a plausible case (Wüthrich) for identifying him with Hans von Zürich, a member of a Zurich goldsmith family depicted in a portrait by Hans Holbein (1532; untraced) and in an etching by Wenceslaus Hollar (1647). According to this theory, Hans Asper was active in Basle following another profession but was inspired by Holbein to turn to portraiture. In 1526 he married the daughter of the master carpenter and Zurich councillor Ludwig Nöggi. Their 11 children included the painters Hans Rudolf Asper (b 1531) and Rudolf Asper (1552–1611). Hans Konrad Asper (c. 1588–?1666), son of Hans Rudolf, was an architect and sculptor in Vienna, Konstanz, Salzburg and Munich. Hans Asper was highly regarded in Zurich—in 1545 he was elected to the Great Council—but despite his unremitting industry as an artist, he was never able to derive an adequate income from his work.


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