Johann Kroess

(fl. 1597)

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(b ?Nottuln; fl 1597; d c. 1607). German sculptor. In 1597 he travelled from Nottuln to nearby Münster, apparently to create sculpture for the new Jesuit church of St Peter (now the chapel of the Gymnasium Paulinum), completed in that year. The Jesuits had come to Münster to propagate Counter-Reformation doctrines in the face of advancing Protestantism. Kroess created two side altars (1598; destr.) for the church, as well as the high altar (1601; partially preserved in situ) and the series of statues of the Apostles for the nave (stone, installed 1604; all in situ). The stone altar of St Ludgerus, Albachten, dated 1604, is also by Kroess, and it is thought to have been made originally for St Peter, Münster. Kroess's most important works, undocumented but attributable to him on stylistic grounds, are the huge limestone Apostles in the choir of St Lambert, Münster, and his works in the Münster Cathedral, comprising two statues at the entrance to the Stephanus-Chor (1601) and the epitaph (1606) for Christoph and Wilhelm von Elverfeldt with its relief of Dives and Lazarus. Kroess's ponderous yet ornamental style reflects the enormous demands on him caused by Münster's crisis of faith. In creating his Apostles in the late-Gothic hall church of St Lambert, he was providing colossal new figural sculpture to rival the renowned 13th-century series of statues of the Apostles in the parvis of Münster Cathedral.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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