Life and work
Christian Ackermann was born in Königsberg. He worked in Riga, Stockholm, and Gdańsk, before becoming active in Tallinn from about 1672 until his death in 1710. In 1675, Ackermann moved to Tallinn and worked forst in the workshop of Elert Thiele, a local woodcarver. After Thiele's death in 1674, Achermann married the master's widow. He then became a citizen of Tallinn but didn't join the local guild of woodcarvers. And that was a reason why between him and the guild's masters had begun a strong struggle which finished in court. Ackermann won and got the permission to work alone, he was the first independent sculptor in Estonia and acquired his own workshop at Toompea Hill. He probably died either in 1710 or a short time later from plague.
Christian Ackermann was one of the greatest masters of the Baroque style in Estonia. He brought strong Central European influences to Northeast Europe, in particular the motifs of the Baroque and masterful Acanthus ornaments. The majority of his works consists of almost twenty altarpieces, pulpits and large coat-of-arms epitaphs.
Most important works
- Altarpiece for the church of Simuna (1684)
- Altar and pulpit for the church of Türi (1693)
- Pulpit with figures of the apostles (1686) and altarpiece (1696) for St Mary's Cathedral of Tallinn
- Emblem for St Mary's Cathedral of Tallinn
- Clock for the Church of the Holy Ghost in Tallinn
- Altar figures and altarpiece for the church of Martna
- Pulpit for the church of Juuru Parish (1695)
- Pulpit for the church of Karuse (1697)
- Crucifix for the church of Koeru Parish (end of the 17th century)
- Kreem, Tiina-Mall: "Der Revaler Bildhauer Christian Ackermann." In: Homburger Gespräch 1999 - 2001 issue 18, pp. 25–42
- (in German) Lexicon of Baltic Artists, Riga 1908
- (in Estonian) short biography
- (In English) Interview with Prof. Hilkka Hiiop and Dr. Tiina-Mall Kreem – curators and researchers of the project
- Estonian National Registry of Cultural Monuments (monument 3451)
- "17199 Krutsifiks, Chr. Ackermann, 17.saj. (puit) • Mälestised". register.muinas.ee. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
- "Study: Christian Ackermann – Tallinn's Phidias, Arrogant and Talented". vaudetar.com. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
- "The massive altarpiece for St Mary's Cathedral was created in the time between the creation of the altarpieces for the churches in Türi and St. Martens. On August 18, 1694, sculptor Christian Ackermann received 40 Rdr for his altarpiece, as agreed. Two days later, Ackermann signed an agreement, according to which he would receive 200 Reichsthalers altogether for carpentry and sculpting, and the master had to obtain the wood himself. The work took somewhat longer than expected, and was not ready until 1696." according to S. Karling: Wood carving and carpentry of the Renaissance and the Baroque in Estonia. Tartu 1943, pp. 299-304.
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