Hans Asper

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Portrait of Hans Asper

Hans Asper (* 1499 in Zurich ; † March 21, 1571 ibid) was a Swiss painter whose works still show traces of the late Gothic .


Hans Asper was born as the son of Heinrich Asper from the Zurich council family. In 1526 he married the daughter of the Grand Councilor Ludwig Nöggi in Zurich. The son Hans Rudolf Asper was born in 1531 and was later also successful as a painter. Aspers grandson Hans Konrad Asper worked as a sculptor and builder a. a. active in Vienna and Munich.

Hans Asper was influenced early on by Hans Leu , a student of Albrecht Dürer . In the course of the iconoclasm and the Reformation around 1523, Hans Asper did not develop into a painter of religious motifs, as the emerging Protestantism managed without the altarpiece. As a result, Hans Asper became Zurich's first painter to concentrate on portraiture and create secular works. Although Hans Asper was a respected man and u. a. Since 1545 he had been a member of the Meis Guild in the Grand Council in Zurich, he could not support himself from his artistic activity and was dependent on the support of the authorities. In 1567 the council granted him a life pension in recognition of his services. Hans Asper died in poor circumstances.


Around 30 portraits of his oeuvre have survived, most of which are in Swiss museums and are dated between 1531 and 1564. Magistrates from Zurich and important reformers of the time are often depicted, mostly from Ulrich Zwingli's circle . In the late Gothic style, they are often clearly outlined profile and three-quarter views in strong colors, mostly half-length portraits with a green background, without any reference to interiors or views of the landscape. Asper's two still lifes with fruits and animals are among the earliest known still lifes.

He worked as a draftsman and wood cutter for the Zurich publisher Christoph Froschauer . His works appeared a. a. in the chronicle of Johannes Stumpf and in Conrad Gessner's animal books.

Asper's drawings of animals can not only be found in Gessner's fish book , but also in an order issued in 1563 for catching, buying and selling all fishermen on Lake Zurich.

Asper was also often active as a facade , flag and coat of arms painter in Zurich . As the official city painter of Zurich, Hans Asper painted the small council chamber and the house of the city clerk in 1531. In 1532 he decorated the outside walls of the town hall and the clocks on the Grimmenturm and the court house. From 1538 to 1539 he gilded the dials of the Church of St. Peter .


A secondary school building in Zurich Wollishofen is named after Hans Asper .



Web links

Commons : Hans Asper  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Conrad Gessner: Historia animalium liber IV, qui est de piscium et aquatilium natura. Christoph Froschauer, Zurich 1558.
  2. ^ Theodor von Liebenau : History of fishing in Switzerland. Bern 1897, p. 115.
  3. ^ Heinrich Grimm: New contributions to the "fish literature" of the XV. to XVII. Century and through their printer and bookkeeper. In: Börsenblatt for the German book trade - Frankfurt edition. No. 89, November 5, 1968 (= Archive for the History of Books. Volume 62), pp. 2871–2887, here: pp. 2882 f.