Caravaggio and the Painters of the North
From 21 June to 18 September 2016
Apt was a German artist, son of the painter Peter Apt. He was born around 1460 and is documented as an independent master in Augsburg in 1481. He ran a prosperous workshop in that city together with his three sons, receiving numerous commissions. The collaborative nature of the workshop has made it difficult to distinguish the hands of the various artists that worked there due to the similarity of their styles. Apt’s eldest son Jacob became an independent master in 1510 and died in 1518. The second, Ulrich Apt the Younger, was active as a painter in 1512 and continued until 1520. The youngest, Michael, became a master in 1520 and is documented working as a painter until 1527. Without doubt Ulrich Apt the Elder was the head of the workshop, dying in Augsburg in 1532. It has been suggested on various occasions that Apt travelled to the Low Countries. His style was considerably influenced by Netherlandish painting and Apt became one of the principal channels for the diffusion of that school in Germany. In comparison to other flourishing workshops in Augsburg such as those of Hans Holbein the Elder and Hans Burgkmair, which looked to Italian and in particular, Venetian art, Apt’s studio opted for the Netherlandish manner and tradition. Among works that have been attributed to him, albeit tentatively due to the stylistic issues arising from the nature of his workshop, are the Portrait of an old Man (Liechtenstein collection), which is a signed work, and the Crucifixion Altarpiece, commissioned by the Rehlinger family, in Augsburg.