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Samo Štefanac

[Aleši, Andrija; Alexii, Andreas; Andrea di Niccolò da Durazzo]

(b Dürres, c. 1425; d Split, 1504).

Dalmatian sculptor and architect of Albanian birth. Although he is recorded in 1435 at Zadar as a pupil of Marco di Pietro da Troia, his most important artistic influence was the Late Gothic style of Giorgio da Sebenico, with whom he worked in 1445 on Šibenik Cathedral and in 1452 at Ancona on the Loggia dei Mercanti. Between 1448 and 1460 Alessi also controlled his own workshop at Split and Rab. In 1466 he began work on his masterpiece, the baptistery at Trogir, which was finished in 1467. The chapel is rectangular in plan, covered with a barrel vault with acute angled coffers; its richly decorated interior is an eclectic blend of Late Gothic and Renaissance elements. The sculpture shares these characteristics: the Baptism of Christ over the entrance, with its elongated figures and complex drapery patterns, derives from Giorgio da Sebenico’s mannered style, while St Jerome in the Desert...

Article

Adriano Ghisetti Giavarina

(di Marco)

(b Venice, fl ?1458–76).

Italian sculptor and architect. He was active in Romagna and the Marches, working in a transitional style between Gothic and Renaissance, influenced by Venetian taste. His first known work is the signed, but undated low stone relief depicting the Lion of St Mark (c. 1458–60) set into the brickwork over the entrance to the Rocca Brancaleone at Ravenna. In 1462 he was at Amandola, in the Marches, and was then called to the nearby town of Fermo to execute a commission (probably the Late Gothic mixtilinear arch that frames the entrance to the Euffreducci Chapel in the church of S Francesco). In 1465 he completed the door, in Istrian stone and Red Verona marble, of Forlì Cathedral (removed 1841; reconstructed with slight modifications in 1915 for the façade of the Carmelite church), the decorative style of which derives from Renaissance Tuscany. In 1468 he created a portal for the church of S Agostino, Amandola, which combines Romanesque and Late Gothic elements....

Article

Peter Bloch

(b Niederscheidweiler, nr Wittlich, 1835; d Cologne, 1874).

German sculptor. Early in his career he worked in Cologne with the neo-Gothic sculptor Christoph Stephan (1797–1864). Alexander Schnütgen, the Domkapitular of Cologne Cathedral, recommended him to August Ottmar von Essenwein, who from 1868 had been restoring St Maria im Kapitol in Cologne. For this church Elscheid sculpted the life-size Pietà (c. 1870) for the south transept (now in the crypt) and the over-life-size wooden Triumphant Crucifixion group (c. 1870; Bonn-Poppelsdorf, St Sebastian), the latter inspired by the late Romanesque group depicting the same subject in the chapel of Schloss Wechselburg. A Vesperbild in the Katholische Pfarrkirche Mariae Himmelfahrt in Mönchengladbach and one in Kempen (Städt. Kramer-Mus.) are so similar stylistically that they can be attributed to Elscheid. A Heart of Jesus (c. 1870) in the narthex of St Maria im Kapitol may also be by Elscheid. In addition to these commissions, he carved small hard-wood statues in the High Gothic style that was prevalent in Cologne. They were rendered with such skill that in later years they were assumed to be either authentic Gothic works or fakes. It is uncertain, however, whether he intentionally intended these sculptures to deceive the viewer. The controversy over their origins has resulted in a renewed interest in them and has led to the rediscovery of several that were previously little-known. Such works (all ...

Article

Kitson  

Janet A. Headley

American sculptors. Henry Hudson Kitson (b Huddersfield, Yorks, 9 April ?1864; d Tyringham, MA, 26 June 1947) moved to the USA where he trained as a sculptor and worked with his brother John William Kitson (1846–88), contributing to the Gothic-inspired Astor Memorial Altar (1877; Trinity Church) and the Fifth Avenue mansion of William K. Vanderbilt (1883; destr.), both in New York. He pursued formal training in Paris, with a Salon success of Music of the Sea (subsequently cast in bronze, 1884; Boston, MA, Mus. F. A.), another in the long line of picturesque ‘Neapolitan’ types by François Rude, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Hiram Powers, and Vincenzo Gemito. Kitson showcased his skill in this work: the anatomy is carefully articulated, the pose a complex spiral.

In 1886 Kitson settled in Boston, where he met aspiring sculptor Theo Alice Ruggles (b Brookline, MA, 1871; d Boston, MA, ...

Article

Corine Schleif

(fl 1490; d Schwabach, nr Nuremberg, Jan 1509).

German sculptor and architect. He was a leading sculptor of the final phase of the Late Gothic period in Germany. His many works in stone, which range from monumental sculptures for public places to decorative ornaments for private residences, were commissioned primarily by Nuremberg patrons, between 1490 and 1509. Most of these works remain in the city although only a small number are still in situ.

Kraft’s origin, training and early experience are conjectural. It has been suggested that he was born in Nuremberg and first worked as a stonemason’s apprentice on the architectural decoration of the hall choir of St Lorenz. Several widely scattered monuments have been postulated as evidence of his work as a journeyman, including the eucharistic tabernacle in Ulm Minster (1464–71), Hans Hammer’s pulpit in Strasbourg Cathedral and the monuments for Archbishop Dieter von Isenburg and Adalbert von Sachsen (d 1484) in Mainz Cathedral....

Article

Walter Geis

(b Andernach, April 15, 1823; d Cologne, Sept 13, 1888).

German sculptor, writer, designer, collector, dealer and furniture-restorer. From 1846 to 1871 he made gothicizing sculptures for Cologne Cathedral: for example figures of evangelists, martyrs and angels and figured reliefs (limestone; south transept, portals and buttresses). He also produced sculpture in period styles for castles, public buildings and private houses, for example 36 limestone statues of German emperors (1882–7; Aachen, Rathaus). The balanced form of his blocklike standing figures shows the influence of classical sculpture, and their generally pensive expression may be traced to the influence of the Lukasbrüder (see Nazarenes). With the help of costumes, Mohr adapted sculpted figures to the style of architecture, but in general his work after 1860 is characterized by massiveness, broad surfaces and an expression of pathos.

Mohr’s later work suggests an admiration for Michelangelo and for the monumental sculpture of Mohr’s contemporaries Ernst Rietschel and Johannes Schilling. The sculptures Mohr made between ...

Article

Elinor M. Richter

[della Fonte; della Guercia; di Pietro d’Angelo]

(b Siena, ?1374; d Siena, Oct 20, 1438).

Italian sculptor. He was the most significant non-Florentine sculptor of the 15th century: a transitional figure in the development of Italian Renaissance sculpture, who infused the Late Gothic art of Nicola Pisano (i) with a new appreciation of antiquity, paving the way for such later artists as Antonio Federighi and Francesco di Giorgio in Siena, Niccolò dell’Arca in Bologna and, most notably, Michelangelo. He worked for a wide spectrum of patrons—the papal states, noble and mercantile families and the cities of Siena and Florence—and was the only Sienese artist of his century to achieve a truly national reputation.

Jacopo was the son of Piero d’Angelo (fl 1370–1410), a minor goldsmith and sculptor, and had a brother, Priamo (1438–67), who was a painter. His birthdate is uncertain; Vasari described in his Lives (1568) an equestrian statue (untraced), carved when Jacopo was 19, for the funeral of the condottiere Giovanni d’Azzo Ubaldini (...

Article

Dill; Dillmann; Thilman; Till]

(b Heiligenstadt, c. 1460; d Würzburg, July 7, 1531).

German sculptor. He was one of the most outstanding representatives of the last generation of Gothic sculptors in southern Germany, and one of the most fully documented medieval sculptors.

Tilman’s father, Tilman Riemenschneider the elder (d 1483), was a master of the mint, and lived with his family at Osterode in the Harz mountains. Tilman Riemenschneider the younger possibly trained first as a stone sculptor in Erfurt, specializing in alabaster, and then travelled as a journeyman to the south-west of Germany. Elements in his work suggest that he spent time in Strasbourg and Trier and then went to Ulm, where he was apprenticed to Michel Erhart. Riemenschneider’s name appears in the Würzburg records before 1479, when he turned down a commission for an altarpiece. He settled there in 1483 and on 28 February 1485 became a citizen and a member of the painters’ Guild of St Luke, receiving the title ‘Meister’; he married Anna Schmidt in the same year....

Article

[Hanns]

(b ?Regensburg, ?1448; d ?Regensburg, ?1518).

German sculptor. He was the most important Late Gothic sculptor in Salzburg, where he was granted citizenship on 18 October 1479. Despite his probable origins in Regensburg (Martin Valkenauer, his father (?), is documented in 1465 in Regensburg), he worked in a tradition of tomb sculpture found in Salzburg, Wiener Neustadt, and Vienna. The artists who influenced him most were Master E. S. and Nicolaus Gerhaert.

Valkenauer’s first tomb slab was that of Lukas Lamprechtshauser (shortly before 1480; Regensburg, St Blasius). The figures of the Virgin and saints are developed using the whole space between the background and the projecting canopy. The same is true of the figures on two epitaphs: that of Kunz Horn (c. 1502; Nuremberg, St Lorenz), where the enthroned Christ is surrounded by angels of different sizes and adored by Horn and his wife, and the Keutschach epitaph (Maria Saal, Pilgrimage Church). Similarities between the head of God the Father on both these epitaphs and the limewood reliquary bust of ...

Article

Harriet Sonne de Torrens

Wooden statue (h. 680 mm; Stockholm, Stat. Hist. Mus.) made c. 1170–80. The elegant proportions of the Viklau Madonna mark the transition of Scandinavian art from the northern Romanesque period to the Gothic style. Roosval (1925) was the first to draw attention to the similarities between the slender proportions of the Viklau Madonna and the columnar figures ornamenting the portals of the Chartres Cathedral (see Chartres). The refined and sensitive facial features set it apart from earlier works and firmly align this wooden statue with the new emerging Gothic style in western Europe.

Originally from the parish church of Viklau on the Swedish island of Gotland, the enthroned figure of the Virgin (the figure of the Christ Child has long been missing), has been in the Statens Historiska Museum in Stockholm since 1928. The diminutive size of the figure suggests that it might once have stood on an altar or formed part of a larger, wooden altarpiece. The fact that it is small in scale, carved from wood, painted and gilded, suggests it was portable and probably used in different locations....