Master of the Augsburg Legend of Ulrich

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(fl c. 1450). German painter. He is named after two cool-coloured paintings of the Legend of Ulrich (c. 1450; Augsburg, SS Ulrich and Afra). Their backs being unpainted, it is thought they were part of a wall cladding. Each shows three scenes concerning the patron saint of Augsburg: those on the first panel take place in the choir and the ambulatory sides of a large Romanesque church, which presumably is the old SS Ulrich und Afra (destr. 1474). First two angels appear to the sick Bishop Ulrich, bringing him chalice and paten; then, while he celebrates Mass before two deacons (who seem portraits), the hand of God appears to him alone. Finally he blesses throngs of the poor. The second panel is organized around two interiors with windows giving on to an intermediate landscape. On the left, the sleeping Ulrich is commanded by St Afra, the town's other patron saint, to apply to the Emperor for consecration of the monastery. On the right, Ulrich rewards a messenger with goose-meat, which the hostile Duke Arnulf, in the centre, hopes to use as evidence of Friday fast-breaking, but as it is handed to him it turns into a fish. The Duke's followers’ Burgundian costumes and the buildings’ pointed turrets suggest knowledge of the art of the Master of Flémalle and book illuminations influenced by him such as those by the Master of Girart de Roussillon. An Antwerp copy (New York, Met.) of a lost painting from Robert Campin's circle indicates how the Master improved on the church's architecture. Yet more comparable is the foreground of a Dutch painting, in the tradition of Rogier van der Weyden, of the Dream of Pope Sergius (New York, Friedsam priv. col.).


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.