Copperplate engraver, commercial artist, painter, draughtsman, goldsmith, seal engraver and etcher
Virtually nothing is certain about Heinrich Aldegrever's artistic beginnings. He is first securely documented in 1525, when he settled as a master in Soest, which was more tolerant about his support of the Reformation than his home town of Paderborn. Aldegrever's work is comprised of some 300 engravings, mainly of a small format. A third of them are engravings of ornaments, which were greatly valued as patterns. Only a very few paintings can be attributed to him, including the winged altar in Soest's Wiesenkirche. Aldegrever is considered the most important engraver of the Renaissance in the north of Germany. He blends influences from Dürer, Beham, and Lucas van Leyden with Italian Renaissance art as transmitted by the prints of Marcantonio Raimondi. An important subject in his overall work is the nude. In addition to his engravings of ornaments, his portraits of leaders of the Anabaptist movement make up an important part of his work in terms of cultural history.