Hans Sebald Beham Biography

Popular in his time, Hans Sebald Beham is best known for his highly detailed tiny engravings and larger woodcuts that still resonate with collectors today.

Hans Sebald Beham (1500 - 1550) was born into a family of artists in Nuremberg in 1500 and is the older brother of Barthel Beham. Best known as a prolific printmaker, he produced approximately 252 engravings, 18 etchings and 1,500 woodcuts, including woodcut book illustrations. He worked extensively on tiny, highly detailed, engravings (many as small as postage stamps) placing him in the German printmaking school known as the "Little Masters" from the size of their prints. These works he produced and published himself, whilst his much larger woodcuts were mostly commissioned work. The engravings found a ready market among German bourgeois collectors, but were not much seen in Italy. He also made prints for use as playing cards, wallpaper, coats of arms, and designs for other artists, including many for stained or painted glass.