Painting — The Flat Tin Figure

Many ear­ly exam­ples of flat tin fig­ures are pre­served in muse­ums through­out Europe, such as the Cul­tur­al His­to­ry Muse­um, Magde­burg, Plassen­burg, and Kulm­bach. Some of these exam­ples date back to 1279.

In the Mid­dle Ages, this unique art form became more pop­u­lar as a game for chil­dren, and sev­er­al Ger­man arti­sans (tin-cast­ers) began to pro­duce small fig­ures of agri­cul­tur­al life and ani­mals from their remains of met­al, and soon the demand exceed­ed the pro­duc­tion. In 1578, the Coun­cil of Nurem­berg approved cast­ers for the man­u­fac­ture of tin fig­urines as chil­dren’s toys. From a volatile indus­try, pro­duc­tion grew and even­tu­al­ly export­ed to all of Europe from Ger­many. in the 1600s the fig­ures found their way to the heads of state heads.

Engraved in a slate, “zin­n­fig­ur” (tin fig­ure) or flat fig­ure is a two-dimen­sion­al free­stand­ing minia­ture and is unique in any aspect that sep­a­rates it from its round coun­ter­part. Pro­duc­tion orig­i­nat­ing in Ger­many cov­ers all aspects of his­to­ry and dai­ly life from ancient to present. Besides peo­ple, and por­traits, ani­mals, fan­ta­sy, art, etc. are deprived of.

While the flat fig­ures orig­i­nate before the 13th cen­tu­ry as a chil­dren’s toy, in their present form they are beau­ti­ful reliefs wait­ing for col­or to high­light their shape.





The Soci­ety’s mem­bers each have a great deal of knowl­edge in many areas — also with­in mod­el­ing and paint­ing. Over the years, sev­er­al mem­bers have cho­sen to share this knowl­edge with the Soci­ety’s oth­er mem­bers through arti­cles in the Soci­ety’s Mag­a­zine. The fol­low­ing links con­tain exam­ples of this:

About paint­ing of flat fig­ures by Ole Høyer