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Amberger trained in Augsburg under Hans Burgkmair and Leonhard Beck before visiting Italy about 1525–27. His Portrait of Charles V (c. 1532, Museum Dahlem Gemäldegalerie, Berlin) shows the influence of the Netherlandish court painter Jan Vermeyen, who was at Augsburg in 1530. Mercantile references to Venetian painters – in particular Palma Vecchio and Paris Bordone – appear in such works as the Portrait of Christopher Fugger. This Venetian influence was deepened when in 1548 he met Titian, then visiting Augsburg, and helped repair the latter's portrait of Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg.
He altered his style according to the commission, and in several later works – for example Portrait of the Cosmographer Sebastian Münster (c. 1552, Museum Dahlem Gemäldegalerie, Berlin) – he rejected the Italianate style of portraiture then in fashion throughout Europe in favour of a more traditional German style. In his Virgin and Saints Ulrich and Afra (1554), painted for Augsburg Cathedral, he combined contemporary Italianate idiom with the late Gothic style of Hans Holbein the Elder.
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