(b Solothurn, c. 1485; d ?Basle, 1527–9).
Swiss draughtsman, goldsmith, die-cutter, engraver, woodcut and stained-glass designer, painter and glass painter. He was the most original and gifted artist of the early Renaissance in German-speaking Switzerland. His highly imaginative drawings, created as independent works of art, are works of exceptional quality, vitality, expressiveness and often humour. For northern European art, Graf played an important role in the liberation of drawing from its traditionally subsidiary status as preparatory study for works of art in other media.
Graf was trained as a goldsmith by his father, Hug Graf (d 1527–30), and remained active in this profession throughout his career. Although almost none of his goldsmith work is preserved, examples such as the silver engraved plates (1519; London, BM; Zurich, Schweizer. Landesmus.) from a reliquary bust executed for a monastery in the canton of Lucerne are of a high quality. He received additional training (1507–8) from the goldsmith ...