German ‘Knorpelwerk’: Auricular dissemination in prints, woodcarving, and painted wall decorations, 1620–70

by The Frame Blog

Daniela Roberts discusses how, and in what form, the ornamental style called ‘Knorpel-&-Teigwerk’ or ‘Ohrmuschel-style’ developed in the different regions of Germany; and how it was employed in architecture and the decorative arts, as well as in elements of picture frames.

In the second and third quarters of the 17th century the Auricular style in Germany is usually associated with silverwork and furniture, and especially with architecture – in North Germany in particular. The proximity to the neighbouring Low Countries and also the strong middle class culture of the old Hanseatic towns seems to have promoted the style and made it popular in this region. Nevertheless most of the German pattern books for Ohrmuschelstil or Knorpelwerk were printed in the south of Germany, mainly in Nuremberg. Little research, however, appears to have been undertaken into the German Auricular style and its application to frames in the south.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), interior of the Golden Hall, Town Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24; reconstruction 1980–85

Thus the fact that one of the earliest examples of the Auricular in this period is to be found in the famous Golden Hall of the Town Hall, built by Elias Holl in the wealthy Fugger city of Augsburg, has not previously been acknowledged. The artist who was responsible for the interior decoration (1620–24, reconstructed between 1980–85 [1]) was Johan Matthias Kager, a Munich artist who had worked in the Duke’s Palace in his hometown, and had later – in 1603 – moved to Augsburg.[2]


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), Cartouche inscribed ‘Veni vidi vici’ above the portrait of Caesar, Golden Hall, Augsburg

Amongst its grotesque paintings and strapwork ornament the complex decorative scheme of the Golden Hall includes a series of exceptional cartouches, framing scenes of heroines from the Old Testament, underneath the large windows of the long sides of the hall.


 Cartouche with the Death of the Maccabees, Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24; reconstruction 1980–85

 The design of each of the cartouches corresponds in ornament and form with the painted upright oval cartouches situated over the portraits of the emperors, and the carved cartouches above the main doorways. The designs seem to be generally based on ancient and Renaissance models, [3] following a long tradition in Augsburg, which was one of the first German towns where the style of the Italian Renaissance gained a foothold.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), Cartouche with Tarquin and Lucretia, Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24,; reconstruction 1980–85

The fundamentally symmetrical design of the cartouches is composed of two grotesque masks placed at the top and the bottom of a curved oblong framework. The masks – showing lions, bulls, sea monsters or Green Men – comply with the usual repertoire of Auricular frames, particularly of British ‘Sunderland’ frames.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), Cartouche with Jael, Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24; reconstruction 1980–85

The cartouche designs show an affinity with Mannerist grotesques, and the fluid shapes reflect the influence of early Dutch Auricular from the beginning of the 17th century; this diverges from the prevailing assumption, that the German Auricular derives mainly from scrollwork and strapwork combined with curved, acanthus scrolls and Moresque ornaments.[4]


Lucas Kilian (1579–1637), frontispiece of Newes Gradesca Büchlein, 1607, engraving

A source which might have influenced the cartouche designs can be found amongst the artistic circle of Augsburg, surrounding the well-known engraver, Lucas Kilian, who worked regularly for Kager and was trained at the workshop of his stepfather, Dominicus Custos, who was of Dutch descent.[5] In his pattern book of 1607, the Newes Gradesca Büchlein, Kilian published thirteen plates with grotesque panels; this was followed by plates of cartouches in 1610, which helped to prepare the ground for the development of the German Auricular.[6]


Lucas Kilian (1579–1637), Portrait of Franciscus Pisanus (detail), engraving

In his portrait prints he ornaments inscription-bearing cartouches with fluid organic forms and masks, which with their soft shapes merge into volutes. With these he pre-figures Kager‘s designs in the Augsburg town hall, even though the repertoire of ornaments in his earlier works is still indebted to scrollwork.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), Cartouche with Judith and Holofernes, Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), coat of arms belonging to Duke Philipp II of Pommern, in Hainhofer’s Großes Stammbuch (or family register), 1612

In an earlier work – a coat of arms from 1612 – Kager also seems to construct his frames on a base of scrollwork, while his preference for masks shown in profile, contorted and stretched as part of the cartouche border, is apparent.


Lucas Kilian (1579–1637), Portrait of Elias Holl, 1619, engraving

Lucas Kilian likewise used masks in profile for the frames of his engraved portraits. For the portrait of Elias Holl, the architect of the Augsburg town hall, Kilian softened the scrollwork of the cartouche with the outline of more organic forms, like shells.


Lucas Kilian (1579–1637), Portrait of Hans Kellenthaler, 1616, engraving

Kilian’s Portrait of Hans Kellenthaler stands out for the presence of its gnarled mascarons, in which the lower animal mask strongly resembles the type appearing in Kager’s Susannah cartouche.


Peter Isselburg (c. 1580–1630/31), Portrait of Johan Casimir, Duke of Sachsen-Coburg, 1625, engraving

There is a noticeable resemblance to Kager’s cartouche structure (here the Esther cartouche) evident in the framing of the portrait print of Johan Casimir, the Duke of Sachsen-Coburg, by Peter Isselburg.  Isselburg, who worked for a long time in Nuremberg, and after 1630 in Bamberg and Coburg, was trained by Crispijn van de Passe, another Dutch artist. In accordance with this artistic background many of his designs clearly show the influence of Dutch ornaments. For the Duke’s portrait he skilfully varies the shape of a conch shell, or twisted horn, combining these with curved scrolls thickened at the end – a characteristic of the German Auricular style,[7]  freely applied around the inner oval frieze.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), Cartouche with Esther, Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24

Kager, in contrast, transforms the central volutes and scrolls into a cartilage structure, or into twisted shells.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), Cartouche with Artemisia, Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24

Furthermore, Kager’s designs integrate the idea of an animal skin, showing paws grasping around the stretched, skin-like outlines of the cartouche.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), Cartouche with Susannah & the Elders, Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24

In his most zoömorphic cartouches Kager combines the central mask with two dragons’ heads, which bite into the cartilage structure springing from the animal at the crest of the frame. Instead of ribbons flowing around the frame he solidifies the undulating ornamentation into the bony and fleshy structure of these fantastical creatures.


Lucas van Leyden (1494–1533), Ornamental panel with dolphins, first half 16th century, engraving

Kager has adopted for his designs a long tradition of grotesque work, often adapted for cartouches in portrait prints, and linked with Dutch artists.


Crispijn van de Passe the Elder (1564–1637), Portrait of Theodoor van Zuylen, 1624, engraving

The printmaker Crispijn van de Passe the elder, who was forced to leave Antwerp and worked for two decades in Cologne (1589–1611), was very influential in this respect, regarding the dissemination of the new Auricular style. In his portrait for Theodor de Zulen his grotesque masks are shown biting an oval cartouche, here still decorated with strapwork.


Renold Estracke (c. 1571–c. 1625), Portrait of Thomas Howard, 1620–25, engraving

Renold Estracke, an English printmaker – probably a pupil of Crispijn van der Passe, composed a cartouche for a portrait of Thomas Howard (dated from 1620–25) by using two snake heads, with softer outlines similar to Kager’s design.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), Cartouche with Tobias & the angel, Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24

At this point it can be established that prints were a medium in which artists were pioneers in Auricular frame design, primarily in portrait prints and those other genres which employedr framing elements. Certainly Kager, who worked closely with various Augsburg printers like Kilian, must have known these Auricular examples and used them as an inspiration. He also contributed many original designs of his own.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), Cartouche with Semiramis, Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24

As in the Dutch Auricular style Kager used conch shells for some of his cartouches, often in order to replace the central volutes. Even though exotic shells were precious collectables for the German Kunstkammer, they play hardly any part in the German Auricular style of around 1650–70; thus Kager’s adoption of shells, which was closely associated with the prosperous overseas trade of the Dutch, represents an outstanding example of a transregional artistic exchange.


Dominicus Custos (1560–1612), Portrait of Veronica Fugger, after 1593, in Fuggerorum et Fuggerarum imagines, fol. 112r

Presumably Kager was also acquainted with the famous print series of the Fugger family by the Augsburg publisher and Dutch-born Dominicus Custos. The frame of the portrait of Veronica Fugger has gigantic exotic shells placed round the upper corners.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), frontispiece of Karl Steger, Monasteriologia, 1619

Kager, for his part, had contributed to the development of the Auricular a couple of years before his Town hall decoration, in a frontispiece for the Monasteriologia, comprising a frame with four conch shells.


 Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), Cartouche with The daughter of Pericles, Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24

Apart from these marine ornaments, the idea of developing a frame from an abstract organic mass indicates a further Dutch influence. Starting with the form of a flayed animal skin, discernible by its mask and intertwined paws or hanging hoofs, Kager generates abstract proliferating forms on the short sides of his cartouches. However, this Knorpelwerk design remains an exception in the German Auricular style.


Raphael Custodis (c. 1590–1664), frontispiece of Patriciarum Stirpium Augustanar. Vind. Et Earundem Sodalitatis Insignia, 1613, engraving

The first beginnings of a transformation from scrolled architectural volutes to an organic structure becomes visible in a cartouche frame for the frontispiece of the Patriciarum stirpium Augustanar (1613) by Raphael Custodis, the son of Dominicus.

Crispijn van de Passe (1564–1637), frontispiece of Herwologia Anglica, 1620, engraving

However, a striking resemblance to Kager’s design can be seen in a cartouche frame for the frontispiece of the Herwologia Anglica (1620), engraved by Crispijn van de Passe. As can be seen in the example above, although De Passe worked with strapwork decoration during the second half of the 16th century, he developed cartilaginous ‘frames’, with a tendency to abstract shapes, around 1620 in Utrecht.

In studying Kager’s designs, it becomes clear that these types of ‘frames’ would not have been achievable without the work of Dutch printmakers, who sometimes lived and worked temporarily in Germany after they were forced, through their religious beliefs, to leave Flanders or Antwerp. There is also the chance that Kager may have known designs by Paulus van Vianen, who, like Kager himself, had worked for Duke Maximilian in Munich during the 1590s.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), South portal, Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24

 Kager‘s adoption of the Auricular style also encompasses the architectural parts of the Golden Hall. Within the painted wall decoration, the two main portals stand out, crowned by cartouches bordered with carved and gilded frames. Over the pediment of the south portal the cartouche, listing the names of the commissioners, is framed with motifs of conch shells replacing the volutes, and also includes two masks and two grotesques in profile.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), South portal, Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24, detail

Instead of an inner moulding separating the inscription panel from the frame, the various motifs and ornaments project into the inner cartouche area, which was inconceivable at that point for the frame of a painting.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), North portal of the Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24

Consequently, the painting above the pediment of the north portal has been furnished with a conventional profile frame with outset corners. Both the horizontal oval cartouches above this painting and the commissioners’ cartouche are framed with paired conch shells, morphing into two masks and two stylized dolphins with scrolling tails. The arrangement of the conch shells around the crowning mask of these two unusual cartouche frames precedes Dutch frame designs, in particular ‘Lutma’ frames.


Johann Matthias Kager (1575–1634), South portal of the Golden Hall, Augsburg, 1620–24, (outline drawing)

Here, of course, the single ornaments dissolve even further into a fluid undulating organic mass. It seems that, in contrast to Dutch Auricular, in Germany the use of Knorpel/Ohrmuschelstil for carved frames immediately neighbouring the image was usually restricted to cartouches. The criterion of appropriateness (or decorum) could explain the apparent absence of recorded examples of picture frames in the Auricular style. The anatomical abnormalities, exotic animals and exuberant shapes involved might not have been thought suitable to frame state portraits and historical paintings.


Sebastian Furck (c. 1598–1666), Portrait of Gernand Philipp von Schwalbach, 1645, engraving

This restraint in regard to over-ornate designs is also noticeable in portrait prints, even though the medium itself allowed much more freedom. Both the Frankfurt printmaker Christian Furck and the Nuremberg printmaker Johann Pfann use an Auricular vocabulary of shells and unrolled volutes to frame their printed portraits, and both attached cartouches in the image.


Johann Pfann (active 1625–1670), Portrait of Johann Tobias Schmidtman von Schwartzenbruck, 2nd half 17th century, engraving

Nevertheless, the immediate border of the portrait is composed of a standard profile frame. The Auricular elements are restricted to the outer areas as accessory parts of the framework, which is appropriate for the graphic arts.

[Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur]

 Bartolomé Iselburg, Portrait of Albrecht von Eitzen (Mayor of Hamburg), 1646, engraving

Bartolomé Iselburg’s portrait of Albrecht van Eitzen, the mayor of Hamburg (1646), is also set in a simple oval frieze, which is used for the inscription. Around the outer border the engraver has attached a framework of exotic shells, in parts arranged radially, like little flames. This exceptional and ornate design would have been difficult to execute as a carved wooden frame.


Matthäus Küsel (1629–1681), Portrait of Hans Koch (Mayor in Memmingen), 1654, engraving

Instead of shells, the Augsburg printmaker, Matthaeus Küsell, uses an abstract frame structure of a voluptuous cartilaginous matrix for his portrait print of Hans Koch (Mayor of Memmingen).


Engraving after Michiel van Mierevelt (1567–1641), Portrait of Johan van Oldenbarneveld, 1617

He adapted a frame design in the early Dutch Auricular style, produced by the artist Michiel van Mierevelt and published on a printed portrait of Johan van Oldenbarneveld from 1617 – almost 50 years previously. This example demonstrates not only the vivid artistic exchange which existed through the medium of the graphic arts, but also the constant interest in Dutch Auricular designs, even in the second half of the 17th century in the south of Germany.


Johann Caspar Höckner (1629–1670), Portrait of Immanuel Placotomus (Nicolaus Brettschneider), 1664, engraving

Around the same time another variation of the German Auricular appears in Johann Caspar Höckner’s engraved portrait of Immanuel Placotomus (a lawyer in Leipzig; 1664). Both the cartouches in this design are composed with two central masks and stylized scrolls forming characteristically compact ear shapes, a characteristic feature of the German Auricular. Whilst the soft texture and the fan-like elements around the crowning mask of the upper cartouche are reminiscent of Kager‘s cartouche frames, the staggered scrolls have also been used as a common ornament for South German altarpiece frames.


Limewood frame for a devotional picture, Franconia, 17th century, Bavarian National Museum, Munich

For example, the frame of a Franconian devotional image in the Bavarian National Museum has an underlying aedicular structure over which a tide of acanthus foliage swells and climbs the columns, lapping around the remnants of the entablature, where it swirls like cresting waves. Besides idiosyncratically-curved scrolls, pendant tongues of leaves and curved and swelling outlines are distinctive features of this version of the Auricular style. In spite of the dominance of the Italian Baroque for church interiors, particularly in South Germany, many altarpieces in the Auricular style have survived. Where it used the structure of an aedicular frame, such rich Auricular ornamentation appeared appropriate for altarpieces, as well as for other church furnishings such as epitaphs, organ cases and pulpits. However, apart from in the graphic arts, evidence of Auricular frames for domestic and public interiors is hard to prove.


The Gallery of Ancestors, c. 1726, Duke’s Residence, Munich

 The extensive modernizing campaigns of the 18th century favoured the Rococo style for interiors, which has destroyed a vast amount of evidence of the German early Baroque. Updating a frame in order to preserve an older valued painting in a more contemporary setting was a regular procedure, seen – for example – in the modernizing of the Gallery of Ancestors in the Duke’s Residence in Munich. The Thirty Years War must also be considered as an important factor in the loss of Auricular frames and frameworks. But is there any effective evidence of a particular German Auricular frame style?


Tondi & oval frames from ‘Le cabinet d’amour‘ of the Electress Henrietta Adelaide, c. 1669, Duke’s Residence, Munich, Bavarian National Museum, Munich, Photo: Dr. Sybe Wartena

 A hint can be found in several round and oval frames in the Bavarian National Museum, from paintings which were displayed in ‘Le cabinet d’amour’ of Henrietta Adelaide at the Duke’s palace from about 1669, representing the theme of love between parents and children.[8]  Apart from smaller tondi and oblong paintings, there are nine larger tondi which formed part of the hanging; they have a classically decorated sight edge around which trails of acanthus spring, with Auricular forms and tongues of leaves, as in the altarpiece mentioned above.


Il merito armato dalla fortezza and frame, part of original hanging in ‘Le cabinet d’amour‘ of the Electress Henrietta Adelaide, c. 1669, Duke’s Residence, Bavarian National Museum, Munich

A characteristic feature of these frames is the small jutting scrolls lined with buds or large oval beads, arranged symmetrically and looking like unrolled volutes. At the top and bottom of the frame the foliage becomes more compact, culminating at the crest in a pair of stylized scrolls. These richly-carved designs indicate that Auricular frames with this scrolling acanthus foliage were more prevalent in Germany, particularly in the South, than current research has suggested. These examples were also combined with Auricular frames in a more Italianate style, as part of the overall decorative scheme in the ‘cabinet d’amour‘.


State Room, 17th – 19th century, Castle Burgk, Thuringia

Whilst the original setting has been destroyed, the aesthetic function of frames in an early Baroque setting can be understood at the Castle Burgk in Thuringia. Here the frames were made for three paintings with mythological scenes as part of the interior decoration of the state room. The undulating outlines of the sight edge, resembling Höckner’s design, project over the painted panel. Unfortunately these designs do not originate from the 17th century but are apparently imitations from the late 19th century.


Doorcase of the hall, 1648, in Castle Tiengen, Waldshut

In Castle Tiengen in Waldshut, parts of the interior decorative scheme, dating from about 1648, have been preserved. The doorcase in the hall shows a rich vocabulary of Auricular forms: acanthus leaves, finned and superimposed with lines of buds, trail along the aedicular structure and cover the doors and the entablature frieze.


Friedrich Unteutsch (c. 1600-66), Design for an altarpiece, in Zieratenbuch, 1650/53

These somewhat resemble the designs in Friedrich Unteutsch’s pattern book, Zieratenbuch, from 1650/53, which comprises models for cartouches, furniture and church furnishings (such as altarpieces). In comparison, however, Unteutsch’s designs are characterized by more bulging and fleshily organic shapes and by vegetal scrolls, along with grotesque masks.


Doorcase of the Golden Hall, Old Residence, Urach, 1609–65


Wendel Dietterlin, design from Architectura, 1598, p. 76

Another and earlier example of an Auricular doorcase can be found at the old residence of the Duke of Wurtemberg in Urach. This is probably indebted to Wendel Dietterlin’s architectural designs: the unknown artist decorated the outer perimeter with entwined tendrils, scrolling into distinctly carved spiral ends, highlighted with gold and red paint. These flat, graphic shapes with small elevated details can be traced back to strapwork decorations from the late 16th century.


Epitaph for Georg Conrad Maikler, parcel gilt stone, c. 1647, Lutherkirche, Fellbach, near Stuttgart

The style of this type of ornament can be compared with those found in a South German epitaph. Both ornamental structures use a compact and crosswise-placed volute, highlighted with gold. The epitaph in Fellbach has a simplified, repetitive structure of homogenous scrolls, picked out with gilded spirals and pointed leaf tips.

Regarding decorative interiors in north Germany, an abundance of Auricular decoration on painted walls and ceilings is documented on town houses in Lübeck (St. Annen-Museum). Generally there are more examples of Auricular ornamentation in the north of Germany than the south, probably due to its proximity to the Low Countries. Particular Hanseatic towns such as Bremen, Lübeck or Brunswick stand out, with important works in architecture, interior and church furnishings. [9]


Burckhardt Röhl (?), vault decoration, 1616, plasterwork, Castle Sondershausen, Wendelstein


Vault decoration, 17th century, plasterwork, the Blue Room, Castle Gottorf, Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstein

In addition to Auricular architecture, two examples of Auricular plasterwork can be given. Both decorate vaulted ceilings, one in Castle Sonderhausen in Wendelstein, and the other the ‘Blue Room’ in Castle Gottorf, Schleswig-Holstein. The playful designs along the groins of the vaults and around medallions and cartouches combine flowers with scrolls & undulating lines, forming ear-like cartilaginous curves: the literal meaning of ‘Auricular’.


Hans Gudewerdt the Younger, trophy frame, c. 1663–66, Castle Gottorf, Schleswig,  State Museum of Schleswig-Holstein

On the wall of the ‘Blue Room’ a female portrait can be seen, in a trophy frame attributed to Hans Gudewerdt the Younger, an outstanding woodcarver from Eckernförde.


Hans Gudewerdt the Younger, trophy frame (c.1669) on the Blue Madonna, Cathedral of St Peter, Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstein

This trophy frame can be compared to a similar frame by Gudewerdt for the altarpiece of the Blue Madonna at the cathedral in Schleswig. In both cases Auricular ornaments provide an underlying structure for the composition of three-dimensional carved fruits, festoons, figures, heraldic shields and religious objects.[10]


Hans Gudewerdt the Younger, Thomas Börnsen-Epitaph, carved wood, 1661, church of St Nikolai, Eckernförde

Gudewerdt executed his altarpieces and epitaphs in a sumptuous and extravagant Auricular style. At the same time the influence of pattern books is tangible in his work: pattern books for the Auricular style often addressed a broad clientele of woodcarvers and other craftsmen, but it seems that they were not commonly used by by framemakers.[11]


Hans Gudewerdt the Younger, Altarpiece, 1641, church of St Nikolai, Kappeln

For the outer framework of his altarpiece in St. Nikolai in Kappeln,[12] Gudewerdt used a stylized leatherwork structure overlaid by fleshy and bulging forms which end in slender scrolling stems, finished by two characteristically intersecting spirals, or by pendant flower buds. In some places creatures seem to emerge from the organic mass, while other parts have a Rococo-like exuberance. Gudewerdt also mixes figures, angels and cherubs’ heads into his matrix of abstract material.


Nikolaus Rosman, ornament around a rectangular panel, left, in Neuw Zirat Büchlein, 1626, Coburg

The agitated structure and the thick bulges with wartlike swellings show an affinity to Nikolaus Rosman’s pattern book designs.

[Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur]

Christian Rothgiesser (fl. 1629–59), Portrait of Johann Adolph Kielmann, 1656, engraving

It is assumed that Rosman’s designs would not have been considered as reproducible in woodwork, because of their exuberant and exceptional use of ornament[13] – an opinion which might be true also for the printed frame around the portrait of Johann Adolph Kielmann, designed by Christian Rothgiesser.


T. Schröder, designs for jewellery, 1650, engraving

A use of Auricular ornament similar to Gudewerdt’s can also be found in Schröder’s pattern book, which employs spirals partly intersecting each other.


Friedrich Unteutsch (c. 1600-66), Design for an altarpiece, in Zieratenbuch, 1650/53

The preference in Gudewerdt’s altarpieces for C-scrolls formed by acanthus leaves can also be found in Unteutsch’s designs, particularly in his designs for altarpieces.[14]


Altarpiece, 17th century, church of St Georg, Spieka

 The altarpiece at the church in Spieka shows a similar structure to Unteutsch’s pattern book.


Crest of an altarpiece, 17th century, Municipal Museum, Flensburg

Hoppius-Epitaph, church of St Stephanus, Fedderwarden, Wilhelmshaven

A different style of north German Auricular can be seen in the altarpiece (above), characterized by more linear shapes, derived from strapwork (including Renaissance motifs like the paired dolphins), or in a more symmetrical, colour-contrasting ornamentation; the latter seems to be indebted to works by Ludwig Münstermanns, a successful Mannerist carver in the region of Oldenburg.


Lorentz Jørgensen (c. 1644–after 1681), altarpiece, 1652, church of St Nicolai, Køge, Denmark

Gudewerdt’s designs had great influence even across national borders: for instance in the designs of Lorentz Jørgensen, who was probably trained in his workshop. Gudewerdt’s extravagant style stands out against the predominant vocabulary of German Auricular, which was mainly based on the ear-shaped scrolls used in altarpieces and picture frames. As an early version of the Auricular style with a strong relation to Dutch designs, the interior decoration of the Golden Hall in Augsburg forms an exception, with its painted and carved cartouches with their organic matrix and use of shells.


Daniela Roberts holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Leipzig and a postgraduate degree in Museum Curator Studies from the University of Munich. Since April 2015 she has been installed as assistant professor at the Institute of Art History, University of Würzburg.  After many years studying 18th & 19th century English architecture she has currently started work on her second theses, Gothic Revival Framing. She recently contributed to an exhibition catalogue on Angelo Uggeri (Altenburg); articles to be published include those on John Nash’s All Souls church in From distaste to mockery, and on Renaissance reframing of trecento painting.


[1] Hermann Kießling, Der Goldene Saal und die Fürstenzimmer im Augsburger Rathaus, München 1997.

[2] Susanne Netzer, Johann Matthias Kager. Stadtmaler in Augsburg (15751634), PhD thesis, München (Uni-Druck) 1980.

[3] Kießling, p. 352.

[4] Günther Irmscher, Kleine Kunstgeschichte des europäischen Ornaments seit der Frühen Neuzeit, Darmstadt 1984, p. 143. Antje-Maria von Graevenitz. Das niederländische Ohrmuschel-Ornament. Munich PhD thesis, Bamberg 1973, pp. 75–80.

[5] Tilman Falk, Vom Weberhaus zum Rathaus. Zeichnungen und Biographisches aus Johann Matthias Kagers Augsburger Zeit, Münchner Jahrbuch 59, 2008, p. 86; Anette Michels, Gezeichnete und gestochene Bilder des Augsburger Kupferstechers Lucas Kilian, in: John Roger Paas (Ed.), Augsburg, die Bilderfabrik Europas, Augsburg 2001, p. 44.

[6] Rudolf Zöllner, Deutsche Säulen-, Zierarten- und Schildbücher 16101680. Ein Beitrag zur Entwicklungsgeschichte des Knorpelwerkstils, PhD Thesis Kiel, 1959, p 15–21.

[7] Graevenitz, p. 75.

[8] For informations about German auricular frames I am much obliged to Roswitha Schwarz, Furniture conservator at the Bavarian National Museum in Munich, who also shared her image material. Corpus der barocken Deckenmalerei in Deutschland, ed. by Hermann Bauer, Bernhard Rupprecht and Frank Büttner, Vol. 3, 2: München, Profanbauten, München 1989, pp. 250–260.

[9] W. R. Zülch, Entstehung des Ohrmuschelstiles, Heidelberg 1932, pp. 107-112; Irmscher, p. 146.

[10] Holger Behling, Hans Gudewerdt der Jüngere (um 16001671), Neumünster 1990, Pl. 135, 136, p. 207–210.

[11] Zülch, p. 115.

[12] Behling, pp. 174–181.

[13] Behling, p. 246.

[14] Behling, p. 246–247.