(Schaffhausen 1542 - Baden-Baden after 1606)

An Allegory of Touch: Design for a Stained-Glass Roundel

Pen and black ink and grey wash, on paper trimmed to an oval and laid down on a backing sheet.
Inscribed TACTVS at the top.
Inscribed Abel Sitmer v. Schaffhausen on the backing sheet.
215 mm. (8 1/2 in.) diameter
Abel Stimmer’s manner of drawing was indebted to the example of his elder brother Tobias. Exhibited in Schaffhausen in 1936, the present sheet is likely to be a design for a roundel of stained-glass, although it may also have been used as a model for a piece of silverware, such as a plate. 

The lawyer and art historian Hugo von Ziegler (1890-1966) assembled a collection of 16th century Swiss drawings, as well as coins and silverware, between the 1920s and the 1960s. A native of Schaffhausen, von Ziegler-Schindler collected in particular drawings by artists active in the city. Other drawings of stained-glass designs from the von Ziegler collection are today in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Museum zu Allerheiligen in Schaffhausen.

The younger brother of Tobias Stimmer, Abel Stimmer was active as a portrait painter, printmaker and glass painter in Schaffhausen, Basel and Freiburg im Breisgau. He worked on frescoes in the Haus zum Ritter in Schaffhausen, and became a citizen of Strasbourg in 1580. As an etcher he made several portraits of prominent sitters in the late 1570s and early 1580s.

Drawings by Abel Stimmer are rare. Examples are in the collections of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham, the Landesmuseum in Darmstadt, the Kupferstichkabinett in Dresden, the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, and elsewhere.


Dr. Hugo von Ziegler, Schaffhausen
Thence by descent.


Friedrich Thöne, ‘Beiträge zur Stimmer-Forschung’, Oberrheinische Kunst: Jahrbuch der Oberrheinischen Museen, 1936, p.126 p.128, no.29, illustrated p.125, fig.17; Friedrich Thöne, ‘Stimmer, Abel’, in Ulrich Thieme, Felix Becker and Hans Vollmer, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler, Leipzig, 1938, Vol.XXXII, p.55.



Schaffhausen, Museum zu Allerheiligen, Tobias Stimmer, 1936, no.214 [catalogue untraced].


An Allegory of Touch: Design for a Stained-Glass Roundel