German painter, born in Cologne (in spite of his name, which derives from his father s birthplace) and active in the Netherlands, Italy (1574-87), and most notably Prague, where he settled in 1596 as court painter to the emperor Rudolf II. On Rudolf s death (1612) he worked for the emperor Matthias.
His paintings, featuring elegant, elongated figures, are - like those of his colleague Bartholomeus Spranger
- leading examples of the sophisticated Mannerist art then in vogue at the courts of Northern Europe, and he was particularly good with playfully erotic nudes ( The Triumph of Truth,
Alte Pinakothek, Munich, 1598). Engravings after his work gave his style wide infiuence and he ranks as one of the most important German artists of his time.
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