Painting: Germany's First Master

He was little more than a name till the late 19th century, and not until this year did scholars and the public have an opportunity to see all his works in one place. The place was Hamburg's Kunsthalle, and the occasion the celebration of its 100th anniversary. The result was the realization that Meister Francke, an altar painter who worked in Hamburg around the year 1420, has far better claim than his later compatriots, Dürer, Cranach or Grünewald, to the title of Germany's first great artist.

Scarlet Sky. Meister Francke was a dramatic storyteller who created his own style by...

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