Nicolaus Gerhaert

(fl. 1462—1473)

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(b ?Leiden; d Wiener Neustadt, Austria, ?1473).

Sculptor, perhaps of Netherlandish origin, active in Germany and Austria, an artist of great power and originality. He is first recorded in 1462 in Trier and is known to have worked also in Strasbourg and Vienna; several signed or documented works survive, in sandstone and marble (woodcarvings have also been attributed to him), but the details of his life are mostly obscure. His work is extraordinarily vivid and unconventional, capturing an intense feeling of inner life, as in the celebrated sandstone Bust of a Man (Mus. de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame, Strasbourg), which is usually considered to be a self-portrait. The voluminous style of his draperies and his boldness of approach suggest that he was trained in a Burgundian workshop where Claus Sluter's style was still predominant, although he is sometimes called Nicolaus ‘of Leyden’, implying that he came from Leiden in the northern Netherlands. His work had considerable influence in central Europe.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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