Relatively little is known about Nicolaus Kremer. He was born c. 1500, and in 1521 married Christina zum Han, a brewer's daughter, in Strasbourg, acquiring citizenship in that city and joining the artists' guild. Between 1521 and 1547 he is mentioned several times in Strasbourg documents. In 1523 Jost Krieg is listed as a pupil in Kremer's workshop, and in 1531/1532 the artist was paid by the city for two sundials. After the death of his first wife, Kremer in 1538 married Dorothea Büheler, the daughter of a Nuremberg artist living in Strasbourg.
Kremer is documented as acquiring in 1545 the artistic estate of Hans Baldung Grien, which included a lock of Albrecht's Dürer's hair. Based on the purchase of Baldung's artistic goods and the attribution to Kremer of a drawing of the Madonna Adoring the Child, dated 1519, and clearly derived from Baldung in style and chiaroscuro technique, it is assumed that Kremer was a member of Hans Baldung Grien's workshop. He executed both drawings and paintings, the subject matter being mostly portraits and religious scenes.
It has been suggested that, as a consequence of the Reformation, Kremer left Strasbourg sometime after 1547 and moved to the nearby city of Baden-Baden. Nicolaus Kremer died in 1553 and his gravestone in the town of Ottersweier (Bühl) cites him as a citizen.
[Hand, John Oliver, with the assistance of Sally E. Mansfield. German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1993: 115.]
"Kremer (Kraemer), Nicolaus." In Thieme-Becker 1927, 21:494.
Rott, Hans. Quellen und Forschungen zur südwestdeutschen und schweizerischen Kunstgeschichte im XV. und XVI. Jahrhundert. 3 vols. Stuttgart, 1933-1938: 3 Der Oberrhein:89-100.
Hans Baldung Grien. Exh. cat. Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, 1959.
Hand, John Oliver, with the assistance of Sally E. Mansfield. German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1993: 115.