- Michèle-Caroline Heck
(b Pfullendorf, nr Konstanz, 1550–51; d Strasbourg, 1599).
German painter, draughtsman and engraver. He was the son of a Protestant pastor and spent his childhood in Lissenheim before moving to Strasbourg with his widowed mother. On 12 November 1570 he married Catherina Sprewer, and in 1571 he obtained Strasbourg citizenship. In 1575 he painted frescoes on the façade of the Brüderhof (destr. 1769). He was at Hagenau in 1583 and at Oberkirch in 1589. Also in 1589, he worked on the decoration of the Neu Bau (now Chambre de Commerce) in Strasbourg; the frescoes, known from engravings of the building (e.g. by Jean-Martin Weiss) and from descriptions, combined mythological and biblical scenes in an interesting iconographical relationship and emphasized the architectural structure of the façade. Dietterlin’s only authenticated easel painting is the signed and dated Raising of Lazarus (?1582 or ?1587; Karlsruhe, Staatl. Ksthalle), which has the characteristics of northern Mannerism: the centre of the composition, towards which the figures look, is deliberately brought out of symmetry to the right; the scene is viewed from below, and the ample gestures of the figures cause them to mingle and intertwine, creating arbitrary rhythmic connections. The intensity of these deliberately complicated movements and tensions is not accentuated by contrasted effects of light. The painting as a whole shows the influence of the Netherlands, while the bright colours are typically German, although some of the figures reveal an Italian influence, probably mediated through German art; others are taken directly from earlier German paintings or inspired by Tobias Stimmer. The only figure looking at the viewer may be a self-portrait (see Martin)....