Heraldic artist

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Heraldic artist at work on a coat of arms that is not implemented with the material glass according to the strict heraldic rules.

As arms artist people generally creative working are called, the coat of arms design or make. In the Heraldry (heraldry) is below a crest artist the person understood that an emblem in accordance with the traditional rules designs heraldry under particularly artistically valuable aspects and / or draws. A heraldic artist can be a person who is particularly experienced in heraldry and is then referred to as a heraldist .


The definition of a heraldic artist is broad and covers a wide range of activities. These are mostly based on the graphical creation (outline) of coats of arms. In addition, a heraldic artist can deal with one or more forms of artistic production and representation of coats of arms on and with any material (metal, stone, paper, glass even skin). Heraldic activities such as preserving, documenting, blazoning and checking coats of arms are not the original task of a coat of arms artist, but knowledge of them supports him in his work.

  • The field of activity of a heraldic artist primarily includes the development and design or the so-called tearing open of a coat of arms, in heraldry this is the area of ​​heraldic art. Connotations of the heraldic artist are those of the heraldic craftsman, heraldic manufacturer, heraldic designer, and heraldic designer.
  • The term heraldist, which, like the term heraldic artist, is not protected as a professional title, refers to people whose field of activity includes the fields of heraldry, coat of arms law, coat of arms history, coat of arms testing and blazon as well as heraldry as an auxiliary science. Other meanings of the heraldist are those of the coat of arms scholar, coat of arms tester, coat of arms scientist, coat of arms herald, coat of arms researcher, coat of arms experts, coat of arms experts.

Because everyone is allowed to call themselves “heraldic artist” and “heraldist”, the terms are still controversially discussed in the field of tension between tradition and modernity and the historical activity of a herald .


Philipp Jacob Spener (1683): ​​He is regarded as the (pre) scientific founder of heraldry in Germany.

The terms heraldic artist and heraldist are only used in modern times. In the main periods of heraldry (11th to 16th centuries), no one who designed coats of arms, dealt with the heraldic system or applied coats of arms to armaments, works of art or devices of any kind was given this name. This is most likely true of the herald (attested as such from the 14th century), to whom the designation heraldry goes back.

The origins of the heraldic artist date back to the end of the Renaissance . “ Artists of class such as Martin Schongauer († 1488), Albrecht Dürer († 1528), Hans Burgkmaier († 1531), Hans Holbein the Elder. J. († 1543), Lucas Cranach the Elder Ä. († 1553), Virgil Solis († 1562) and Jost Amman († 1591), dealt with the heraldry and left exemplary coat of arms drawings ... "As a separate name, the expression could only be used after the decline of heraldry (1650-1850), after the clarification and during the scientific processing of the heraldry.

The same applies to the term heraldist. This was only able to prevail after Friedrich I of Prussia appointed Christian Maximilian Spener , the eldest son of the theologian and famous heraldist Philipp Jakob Spener , as heraldic advisor to Berlin. The king founded a professorship for heraldry there at the Knight's Academy (1705) and transferred it to the younger Spener: “This was the first attempt in Germany to introduce heraldry as a subject of teaching at universities. It was first imitated in Leipzig in 1711 and soon at other German universities. "

Today, both terms are also backdated and used for people who did not know these expressions themselves or who even rejected them, as one of the most famous heraldic artists, Otto Hupp , described himself as a craftsman and not as a heraldic artist.


Today there is no dedicated training to become a heraldic artist or heraldist at universities , technical colleges and art colleges in Germany. Heraldry as well as the other auxiliary sciences of history are an integral part of the training program of various fields of study such as history and archival studies .

A lack of dedicated training enables numerous autodidacts and lateral entrants from other professions (mostly the fine arts or handicrafts ) to pursue heraldic art and heraldry, partly commercially, partly on a voluntary basis, partly as a hobby .

  • Who is seen as a heraldic artist depends crucially on how his works follow the rules of the original heraldry. A quality characteristic for a heraldic artist recognized by specialist circles is whether several of his works are registered in the leading German heraldic scrolls. Whether the work of the heraldic artist is official, professional, private, freelance or as a hobby is irrelevant for a heraldic-artistic, heraldic-scientific quality claim.
  • In the past, several club and association-limited attempts have been made to demonstrate the quality of the work of a heraldist through self-defined tests, seminars, certifications, diplomas, seals and so on.

Known heraldists

See also

Web links

Commons : Coats of arms designed by painters  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b heraldic artist. In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm (Hrsg.): German dictionary . tape 27 : W – way [twittering] -zwiesel - (XIII). S. Hirzel, Leipzig 1922 ( woerterbuchnetz.de ).
  2. Heráldik . In: Brockhaus' Kleines Konversations-Lexikon . 5th edition. Volume 1, F. A. Brockhaus, Leipzig 1911, p.  790 .
  3. a b Cf. on this Claus J. Billet et al .: How to become a heraldist.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Website Heraldik im Netz, or ibid. Claus J. Billet et al .: The heraldist under a magnifying glass. Both threats accessed on January 14, 2010.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / heraldik-wappen.de  
  4. Working group of honorary heraldists : in a heraldry association founded in Hanover in 1888
  5. ^ A b Adolf Matthias Hildebrandt (Ed.): Wappenfibel. Handbook of Heraldry. Degener 2002, ISBN 3-7686-7014-7 , p. 25.
  6. ^ Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon , Volume 9. Leipzig 1907, pp. 187-189.
  7. Eckart Henning: Hennings HIWI test. 175 questions and answers about historical auxiliary sciences. BibSpider, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-936960-30-3 , p. 136.
  8. Cf. Claus J. Billet: The serious heraldist. Ahnenforschung.net; Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  9. See also The HEROLD Diploma ...!  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Website forum of the community of coat-of-arms families; Retrieved January 14, 2010.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.gemeinschaft-wappenfuehrender-familien.de