Tuesday, February 12, 2013
"Nuremberg was a city of great wealth, largely created by the high-quality goods, particularly metalware, produced by its craftsmen. As a center of trade it was a focal point within the Holy Roman Empire. (which was neither holy or roman)* (a center joke) The imperial relics and regalia were housed in Nuremberg; they were displayed annually and attracted large numbers of prominent visitors to the city. The arts and crafts were controlled in a manner that was conducive to Durer's spirit of free enterprise. Once he had completed the required period of training and experience, a journeyman became a master in his own right and was thereby qualified to open a workshop and employ apprentices. In most cities, the strict conditions and regulations of training were set by the guilds, who required the production of a "masterpiece" before anyone could acquire the status of master. There were, however, no guilds in Nuremberg. Certain trades were known as 'sworn crafts' and controlled by the Rugamt, which was composed of delegates from the Lesser Council, but others, which included painting and sculpting, were known as the 'free arts' and answered directly to the city council." German Renaissance prints 1490-1550 Giulia Bartrum. page 9.