Master of the Göttinger Barfüsseraltar

(fl. 1424)

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(fl 1424). German painter. He is named after an enormous altarpiece (1424; Hannover, Niedersächs. Landesmus.) from the Franciscan Barfüsserkirche (destr. 1820–24) in Göttingen. All surfaces of the work are painted, and it comprises a central panel, two pairs of wings and remnants of supports, presenting scenes of the Passion, SS Francis and George and the Virgin (third view), the Apostles with the Texts of the Creed (second view), four allegories of Christ's Deeds for Mankind (first view) and, on the supports, Female Saints. The altarpiece was apparently a late work, in which the Master's draughtsmanship and painting skills had become rigid and fossilized. It shows a strong influence from the Master of the Golden Panel of Lüneburg and, in the large Mount Calvary breaking through the rows of images, a knowledge of Conrad von Soest's Wildungen Altarpiece (1403; Bad Wildungen, St Maria, Elizabeth und Nikolaus). For this work the Master's patron was probably Brother Luthelmus, who is portrayed in miniature kneeling under the cross, with Henricus Duderstat. Whether the latter was the painter remains uncertain, but it is assumed that the Master was a Franciscan patronized by the nobility (coats of arms on the Creed panels). The altarpiece brings the ‘Soft style’ (weicher Stil) of painting in Lower Saxony to a close.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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