Hermen Rode

(fl. c. 1468—1504)

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Bernt Notke (c. 1440—1509)


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(fl Lübeck, ?1468–c. 1504). German painter. Although there is no documentary reference to his activity as an artist, he was probably the official painter of the Martinerkirche in Lübeck, as in his wills (1485, 1494, 1500) he named the church warden as a co-executor. His only signed work is the altarpiece of St Luke (1484; ex-Katharinenkirche, Lübeck; Lübeck, St Annen-Mus.). Since in 1486 he acquired a house in Lübeck's Johannisstrasse, he had obviously achieved a certain standing, which makes it seem plausible that he had produced the other altarpieces attributed to him, which are easily recognized by their objective and restrained style of depiction. They include a badly damaged triptych (1468; ex-Storkyrka, Stockholm; Stockholm, Stat. Hist. Mus.) with the Life of Christ on the inside, showing episodes from the Marriage of the Virgin to the Nailing to the Cross, and Swedish national saints on the outer wings. This early altarpiece already reveals characteristic features such as his distinctive type of female head, with a prominent forehead, receding, softly rounded chin and strangely overcast, half-closed eyes. The bodies, however, are oddly boneless and retain the pointed, forward-stepping Late Gothic stance, and the colours are still dull and thinly painted. Later, influences from the Netherlands, especially from Bruges (Gerard David), became stronger, particularly in the palette, with bright, clear colour combinations resembling those of the Westphalian Master of Liesborn. A later work attributed to Rode is the triptych of 1482 in the Nikolaikirche at Reval (now Tallinn, Estonia), in which the 16 panels on the inside depict scenes from the Lives of SS Nicholas and Victor. Probably under the influence of bernt Notke's Dance of Death (1463–6; Tallinn, Nikolaikirche; ex-Marienkirche, Lübeck), Rode's Martyrdom ofStVictor presented the same view of Lübeck in more compressed form and treated other aspects of the landscape in a manner reminiscent of Notke.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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