Master of the Sterzing Altarpiece

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(fl c. 1450–70). Austrian painter. He painted the wings (Vipiteno, Mus. Multscher) of the 1456–8 altarpiece in Sterzing (now Vipiteno, Italian Tyrol), whose centrepiece is formed of wood sculptures of the standing Virgin and Child flanked by saints, by hans Multscher (all Vipiteno, Unserer Lieben Frau im Moos). Some writers have identified him as Multscher, but most reject this. The altarpiece survives only in fragments but can be in part reconstructed. The paintings were on the wings of the triptych altarpiece. The inner panels showed the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi and the Death of the Virgin, and when closed the outer panels showed the Passion scenes of Gethsemane, the Flagellation, the Crowning with Thorns and the Way of the Cross. Multscher's sculpture was surmounted by a standing Man of Sorrows flanked by the Virgin and St John the Evangelist. The painter of the wings, like Multscher, worked in Ulm, but the strong influence of Rogier van der Weyden (Weyden, van der, (1)) shows a trend away from earlier Ulm painting such as the expressive and harsh realism of the Wurzach Altarpiece (1437; Berlin, Gemäldegal.), controversially thought to be by Multscher. In the Sterzing panels’ representation of interior space and landscape, and in the elongated figure poses and facial types, the influence of Rogier van der Weyden is evident, but the figure compositions have a compression and hard clarity of outline different from that of the Flemish master. Other works by the Master of the Sterzing Altarpiece are the Heiligkreuztal Altarpiece depicting the Death of the Virgin (1450–60; Karlsruhe, Staatl. Ksthalle; Stuttgart, Staatsgal.), the Bridal Pair (c. 1470; Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.) and a St Mary Magdalene (c. 1470; Oberlin Coll., OH, Allen Mem. A. Mus.).

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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