January 12, 2015


Carved Figure

Stock No. 2443

North European, probably German carved figure of a female Saint, circa 1450.  Stylistically, she represents the transition from the Gothic to the Renaissance.  Whilst her arms and the hand have that earlier look, the almost symmetrical arrangement of the front folds of her dress, and the parting in her hair are moving towards the Renaissance depictions you expect in the Northern regions of Germany on the Rhine and in Saxony.  She is depicted on a cloud and is floating with her left foot bent up as would have been her right foot.  Her dress is blown out to the right and her right arm is elongated to give perspective, as she was most probably situated up quite high.

There are significant remains of the original polychrome, and particularly evident is the yellow gilding of her dress. To the back are two tenon apertures indicating that she was fixed onto some sort of structure.  It is quite likely that she would have been attached to a carved representation of the crescent moon.  It was not uncommon in German religious sculpture to represent the Virgin Mary in this way which referred to Revelations 12:1: “A great sign appeared in the sky.  It was a woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  She was with child and wailed aloud with pain as she laboured to give birth”.”  This is one possibility but due to her losses it cannot be definite.

She has been sawn off to level the bottom and her left arm, right thumb, and right foot are also missing

Dimensions:  Height 62 centimetres, Width 26 centimetres, Depth 26 centimetres

Price £6,000