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Madonna Around 1510/15
Madonna Around 1510/15 - Sculpture Style Madonna Around 1510/15 - Madonna Around 1510/15 -
Ref : 110147
18 800 €
Period :
<= 16th century
Medium :
Lime wood
Dimensions :
H. 14.96 inch
Sculpture  - Madonna Around 1510/15 <= 16th century - Madonna Around 1510/15  - Madonna Around 1510/15
Kolhammer & Mahringer Fine Arts

Specialised with sculptures and old master paintings

+43 676 4128888
Madonna Around 1510/15

Around 1510/15
Attributed to the workshop of Tilmann Riemenschneider
Heiligenstadt around 1460 - 1531 Würzburg

Lime wood carved
Height 38 cm

This Madonna figure is a magnificent work from the transition between the late Gothic and Renaissance periods from the workshop of Tilman Riemenschneider. The master sculptor probably completed his studies in sculpture in Strasbourg and Ulm, where he incorporated certain stylistic features into his repertoire, which were greatly influenced by representatives of the Ulm School such as Niklaus Weckmann and Michel Erhart. He spent most of his time working as a sculptor in Würzburg, where he also produced numerous commissioned works in a sacred context for bourgeois society, but above all for the clergy. This Madonna could have been created by his workshop in one of these contexts. In addition, the figure is transparent; it is therefore likely that this Madonna was originally conceived without polychromy. Riemenschneider’s oeuvre is characterized by a large number of works in wood, which show a high level of sculptural execution of the individual sculptures.

Mary wears a crown ring on her long flowing hair, which is notched with a burin. The thickly fanned-out head of hair artfully emphasizes the elongated neck with the oval face. Her expressive face is defined by short, sharp eyebrow ridges above almond-shaped eyes and a pout under a straight nose. Other typical features of Riemenschneider’s figures are an implied double chin and a naturalistically folded, shaded neck. Maria presents her child in a tilted position: it has a round head lined with thick curls and its arms and legs are playfully bent. With his left hand, the infant Jesus seems to be holding on to his mother’s cloak, a gesture that creates a closer relationship between the two.

Mary stands in a straight posture, looking forward, on a crescent moon. The crescent moon is comparable to that of the sandstone Madonna in the former Neumünster collegiate monastery in Würzburg from 1493. The rich drapery is particularly characteristic of the sculptor Riemenschneider: the loosely thrown over cloak with a folded over bowl takes up the child’s position. Complex angular folds, especially the zigzag folds within the bowl fold and the bent triangular fold above the knee of the play leg, are characteristic of his works, for example in the St. Elisabeth of Thuringia around 1510 (Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, inv. no. Pl.O.2413). Furthermore, the straight, tubular, open folded edges can often be seen in the Würzburg master’s sculptures. These merge into diagonal folds, which draw the viewer’s gaze downwards to the knee of the play leg protruding from beneath the coat. The raised hem above the crescent moon reveals the protruding shoe of this very leg. This emphasizes the dynamic effect of the sloping stand, underlined by the curves of the heavy coat.


Michael Baxandall, The Art of the Carver. Tilman Riemenschneider, Veit Stoß and their contemporaries, Munich 1984. Claudia Lichte (ed.), Tilman Riemenschneider, Werke seiner Blütezeit, Regensburg 2004.

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