Sculpture Journal

Johan Gregor van der Schardt and Frederik II of Denmark

Sculpture Journal (2013), 22, (2), 21–32.

Abstract

Johan Gregor van der Schardt was one of the outstanding sculptors in northern Europe in the later sixteenth century. He worked for Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II and for King Frederik II of Denmark. Though little-known today, the latter was highly regarded as one of the outstanding patrons of sculpture of his generation, with major commissions from Nuremberg and Antwerp. The nature of van der Schardt's work in Denmark and his relationship to the Danish court has long been problematic. A large Mercury by van der Schardt may have been produced as a presentation piece for Frederik, rather than for Maximilian or his successor, Rudolf II, as has often been supposed. This article argues that van der Schardt left Denmark for Nuremberg in 1579 with the expectation of producing further work for Frederik. Two bronze busts, now in Copenhagen, seem to be the only result of this arrangement produced before van der Schardt's death in or shortly after 1581.

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Author details

Neville, Kristoffer