Beham, Hans

, an engraver of Nuremberg, who flourished about the middle of the sixteenth century, was either instructed, or became an imitator of Henry Aldegrever, and Albert Durer, and like them, engraved on wood as well as copper, and also etched some few plates; but these last, by far the most indifferent, are also the smallest part of his works. If his style of engraving be not original, it is at least an excellent and spirited imitation of that which was adopted by the preceding masters of the country in which he resided. His pictures, for he was a painter, as well as his engravings, were held in such high estimation, that the poets of that age celebrated him in their poems, calling him in Latin, Bohemus. He was certainly a man of much genius, and possessed great fertility of invention. But the Gothic taste which so generally prevailed in Germany at this time, is much too prevalent in his works. His draperies are stiff, and loaded with a multiplicity of short, inelegant folds. His drawing of the naked figure, which he is fond of introducing, though mannered, is often very correct, and sometimes masterly. His heads, and the other extremities of his figures, are carefully determined, and often possess much merit. Of his numerous works, the following may be mentioned as specimens; on wood, a set of prints for a book entitled “Biblicae Histories artinciossissimce depictae,” Francfort, 1537; and on copper, “History of the creation and fall of man:” “The labours of Hercules:” “The virtues and vices,” &c. He had a brother, Bartholomew Beham, who resided principally at Rome. He was also an engraver, and from such of his prints as have been ascertained, which is somewhat difficult, he appears to have been a very excellent artist, and one of the superior scholars of Marc Antonio, whose style of engraving he imitated with great success. His drawing is correct and | masterly; his beads are characteristic, and the other extremities of his figures well marked. 1

1 Strutt’s Dict.