Wirsberger (Wirsperger, Wierszperger, Wyrsperger)

sculptor, carver

born Wirsberg / Oberfranken, 1468 ?

died after 1534

∞ I) Elsbeth, a son of Sebald; II) Margaretha, daughter of Hans Traut, painter.


The family name was derived from the place of birth. Nothing is known about his education. The repertoire of forms, especially of the monumental four-figure crucifixion group in St. Clare, which an engraving by J.A. Delsenbach at the beginning of the 18th century shows above the choir arch, indicates his training in Ulm. At the beginning of 1493 he became a citizen of Nuremberg. In 1499 he worked for St Kilian's Church in Windsheim. Together with the painter Hans Beheim he made the Gutenstetten altar in 1511. In 1513 Anton Kress paid him 17 fl. for a life-size stone figure of St Paul and a sculpture of St Anthony, which were intended for St Lawrence's church. In 1499 Wirsberger bought a house in the Judengasse (Wunderburggasse 8) from the town, which he sold in 1507 for 310 fl. In 1507 (registered on 7.9.1509) he bought the Pilatushaus near the Tiergärtnertor (Obere Schmiedgasse 66) for 370 fl. rh., which he sold again in 1530 for 500 fl. rh.


Works: GUTENSTETTEN, Lutheran parish church: sculptures. KATZWANG, Lutheran parish church: 3 m high crucifix made of beech wood; sacrament house, which he delivered in 1518 together with the master stonemason Conrad Beheim for 60 fl. (note in the parish archives). NÜRNBERG, Lorenzkirche, St. Paul, 1513; Klarakirche, crucifixion group, c. 1500; WV s. Th.-B.


Lit.: Thieme-Becker; E. Frank: Leben und Werk des Bildhauers Veit Wirsberger, Schwabach 1977; FS zur Einweihung der neuen Orgel in der St. Kilians-Kirche Bad Windsheim, 1986, p. 4; Dehio, Bayern I: Franken, p. 416; Bacigalupo, 1987; Roller, 1999, p. 44; Stadtlexikon 2000; Kohn, NHb Sebald.


Exhibit: Hidden Beauty, Late Gothic Treasures from the Church of St. Clare in Nuremberg, GNM 2007.


Frank Matthias Kammele must have trained in Ulm. At the beginning of 1493 he became a Nuremberg citizen. (quoted from Nürnberger Künstlerlexikon / ed. by von Manfred Grieb) See also article "Gutenstetter Altar" )

Style: Late Gothic

Period: 15th c.