Hans Wertinger in context : art, politics, and humanism at the court of Ludwig X, Duke of Bavaria



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The German Renaissance artist Hans Wertinger (c. 1465/70-1533) was a prolific master who worked in a variety of artistic media and oversaw a large atelier during his mature years. In 1516, Wertinger completed his first commission for Ludwig X (1495-1545), Duke of Bavaria, newly resident in Landshut. Two years later, Wertinger was named Ludwig’s court painter. The artist’s interaction with the Wittelsbach court, including its scholars, during these and subsequent years inspired many of his most innovative artworks. Wertinger painted portraits of the duke that addressed Ludwig’s conceits and conveyed his political and religious authority. He also collaborated with one of Ludwig’s advisors, the humanist scholar Dietrich von Plieningen, on book illustrations and a history painting with themes related to the classical past. As befitted Wertinger’s position as court painter, he provided a wide variety of decorations for Ludwig’s palace at Burg Trausnitz; these illustrate and elucidate the space of rulership. Wertinger’s success as a court painter is a testament to his versatility and innovation, as he created diverse artworks that both reflected and contributed to the broader culture of the Landshut court.