Thomas Schweicker

Last updated
Thomas Schweicker
Born21 December 1540
Schwäbisch Hall, Germany
Died7 October 1602 (1602-10-08) (aged 61)
Occupation(s)Artist, calligrapher

The Thomas Schweicker (21 December 1540 7 October 1602) was a German artist and calligrapher. Despite being born without arms or hands, he became known for his skills as a painter and calligrapher, using his feet to create his art.



Schweicker was born on 21 December 1540 in Schwäbisch Hall, to Hans and Dorothea Schweicker. His father was a baker and a councilor, and later a judge. Schweicker was the sixth of eight children, and had four brothers and three sisters.

He was born without arms, presumably due to amniotic band syndrome.[ citation needed ] Nevertheless, he learned not only to master every day tasks like washing and dressing himself, but also to write, by using his feet.

At the age of seven, Schweicker started his schooling, and later attended the Schwäbisch Hall Latin school at the age of twelve. [1]

Calligraphy and celebrity status

Schweicker had a talent for calligraphy, and soon became adept at creating elaborate documents. This, combined with his 'unusual' technique soon made him a celebrity. Many visitors came to Schwäbisch Hall to see him, watch him work, and buy a piece of his art. In 1570, he met both Kaiser Maximilian II and Prince-elector August of Saxony, and impressed them with his work. In 1584, Schweicker was invited to perform at court in Heidelberg, where he stayed until 1598, primarily working as a painter. [2]


Memorial plaque to Thomas Schweicker at St Michael's church, Schwabisch Hall Thomas Schweicker (St. Michael, Schwabisch Hall).jpg
Memorial plaque to Thomas Schweicker at St Michael's church, Schwäbisch Hall

Schweicker died in the early morning hours of 7 October 1602 following a brief illness. He was buried at St Michael's church in Schwäbisch Hall. He had self-prepared death certificate, crafted a decade earlier, along with a portrayal of him at work, continue to be exhibited there. [3]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Emanuel Leutze</span> German-American painter

Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze was a German-born American history painter best known for his 1851 painting Washington Crossing the Delaware. He is associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hans Baldung</span> German painter and printmaker (c. 1484–1545)

Hans Baldung, called Hans Baldung Grien,, was a painter, printer, engraver, draftsman, and stained glass artist, who was considered the most gifted student of Albrecht Dürer and whose art belongs to both German Renaissance and Mannerism.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Watercolor painting</span> Type of painting method using water-based solutions

Watercolor or watercolour, also aquarelle, is a painting method in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-based solution. Watercolor refers to both the medium and the resulting artwork. Aquarelles painted with water-soluble colored ink instead of modern water colors are called aquarellum atramento by experts. However, this term has now tended to pass out of use.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Schwäbisch Hall</span> City in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Schwäbisch Hall is a city in the German state of Baden-Württemberg located in the valley of the Kocher river, the longest tributary of the Neckar river. The closest larger city is Heilbronn, and Schwäbisch Hall lies north-east of the state capital of Stuttgart. It is the seat of the district (Landkreis) of Schwäbisch Hall.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peter von Cornelius</span> German painter

Peter von Cornelius was a German painter; one of the main representatives of the Nazarene movement. He was the uncle of the composer Peter Cornelius (1824–1874).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Philip James de Loutherbourg</span> French-born English painter

Philip James de Loutherbourg, whose name is sometimes given in the French form of Philippe-Jacques, the German form of Philipp Jakob, or with the English-language epithet of the Younger, was a French-born British painter who became known for his large naval works, his elaborate set designs for London theatres, and his invention of a mechanical theatre called the "Eidophusikon". He also had an interest in faith-healing and the occult, and was a companion of the confidence-trickster Alessandro Cagliostro.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Simon Bening</span> Flemish miniaturist

Simon Bening was a Flemish miniaturist, generally regarded as the last major artist of the Netherlandish tradition.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sebald Beham</span> German painter and printmaker (1500–1550)

Sebald Beham (1500–1550) was a German painter and printmaker, mainly known for his very small engravings. Born in Nuremberg, he spent the later part of his career in Frankfurt. He was one of the most important of the "Little Masters", the group of German artists making prints in the generation after Dürer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sadequain</span> Pakistani artist and poet

Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi, and often referred to as Sadequain Naqqash, was a Pakistani artist and poet best known for his skills as a calligrapher and a painter. He is considered one of the finest painters and calligraphers Pakistan has ever produced, having painted around 15000 paintings. He is also recognised as the only artist in Pakistan to have received all four civilian awards such as the Nishan-i-Imtiaz, Sitara-i-Imtiaz, Tamgha-i-Imtiaz, and Pride of Performance.

Events from the year 1602 in art.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1540 in art</span> Overview of the events of 1540 in art

Events from the year 1540 in art.

Events from the year 1673 in art.

Events from the year 1603 in art.

The decade of the 1470s in art involved some significant events.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Somnath Hore</span>

Somnath Hore (1921-2006) was an Indian sculptor and printmaker. His sketches, sculptures and prints were a reaction to major historical crises and events of 20th century Bengal, such as the Bengal Famine of 1943 and the Tebhaga movement. He was a recipient of the Indian civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sadiqi Beg</span>

Sadiqi Beg, also referred to as Sadiqi Beg Afshar, was a painter, poet, biographer, draftsman, soldier and miniaturist of the Safavid period. He served as the head of the Royal Library serving under Shah Abbas I, and is most known for artistic reform.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Heinrich Parler</span>

Heinrich Parler the Elder, was a German architect and sculptor. His masterpiece is Holy Cross Minster, an influential milestone of late Gothic architecture in the town of Schwäbisch Gmünd, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Parler also founded the Parler family of master builders and his descendants worked in various parts of central Europe, especially Bohemia. His son, Peter Parler, became one of the major architects of the Middle Ages. The family name is derived from the word Parlier, meaning "foreman".

Noah von Williamsburg was a minor German noble and skilled fencer. He is known for beating famous German artist Thomas Schweicker in a duel that cost the artist both arms.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Livio Retti</span> Italian painter

Livio Retti was an Italian Baroque painter who worked mainly in present-day South Germany, at the time the Duchy of Württemberg, the Duchy of Bavaria, some secular or ecclesiastical Franconian principalities and some free imperial cities such as Schwäbisch Hall.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Allah Bakhsh (painter)</span> Pakistani painter, calligrapher

Ustad Allah Bakhsh was a Pakistani painter and calligrapher who was actively involved in aesthetics and classical landscape paintings throughout his life. He produced his work in British India before partition and in Pakistan after split of Indian subcontinent. Most of his work revolves around traditional tales of Persian and Hindu mythology. He also depicted rural life, particularly the culture of Punjab, Pakistan in his paintings.


  1. Puschel, E. (1963-07-12). "[Adjustment to life with amelia, as exemplified in Thomas Schweicker 1540-1602]". Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift. 88: 1402–1404. doi:10.1055/s-0028-1112243. ISSN   0012-0472. PMID   13972590.
  2. "Artikelansicht : Forschungsstelle für Personalschriften". Retrieved 2020-07-24.
  3. McLachlan, Gordon (2004). The Rough Guide to Germany. Rough Guides. ISBN   978-1-84353-293-4.