Johannes Stenrat


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(b Lübeck, 1410–20; d Lübeck, before 1484). German painter and wood-carver. Between 1455 and 1484 his name appeared frequently in documents concerning legal affairs and house transactions. About 1458 he was recruited by merchants in Lübeck on behalf of the Bridgettine monastery in Vadstena, Sweden, to complete an altarpiece to St Bridget in the monastery church. The work, begun in 1456 but left unfinished by the carpenter Hans Hesse of Lübeck, was finally delivered in 1459. It has been a matter of dispute as to which parts of the altarpiece are by Stenrat, and which by Hesse. At least the main wooden sculpture of St Bridget and the wing paintings seem to be the work of Stenrat, who is always called ‘meler’ (Middle Low Ger.: ‘painter’) in the documents, a term that in the German Baltic area implies woodwork as well as painting. It has also been demonstrated (Wentzel) that the paintings on the altarpiece in the church of St Nicholas in Rostock are similar to those of the Vadstena altarpiece. Stenrat's name appeared in an inscription of 1471 (now erased) on an altarpiece in the church of Bälinge, near Uppsala in Sweden. Further rather doubtful attributions (by Paatz, Wentzel, Norberg and others) have been made, based on the work in Bälinge. A wooden sculpture of St Olaf (Lübeck, St Annen-Mus.) has also been convincingly ascribed to Stenrat (Lindblom). Unaware of newer Swedish publications (e.g. Norberg), scholars after World War II have attributed a wide range of works to Stenrat. His name has been used as a common denominator for northern German painting that is loosely connected to the works in Rostock and also shows the Netherlandish influence exemplified by the creased folds in work from Lübeck that appeared between the times of master Francke and hermen Rode.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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