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By Hans Hellmut Hofstätter

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This is one of the earhest panel paintings many. Designed as an altarpiece, Ger- in marks the it beginning of a rich development out of the exist- A ing style of wall painting. triple arcade, like those one finds encircling the base of a choir, serves as a frame for a picture figures seem almost whose soaring behind an like a fresco seen altar. In style there are certain affinities with the and in Sankt Kunibert, Cologne. But the finely worked frame, gilded arcades, and gold background wall paintings in Sankt Nikolai in Soest into which the names of the saints are of the preceding recall also the reliquaries all period, and it is embossed, certain that such reliquaries were of considerable influence on the origins of panel painting.

The east wing, built in 1351-57. has the earliest fully developed example Trinity, of fan-tracery vaulting In the latter part of the thirteenth century, alabaster became a favorite material of English sculptors, and on tombs were made from that stone. Nottingham was the center for alabaster sculp rs, and its alabaster wall-reUefs and carved altars with small alabaster figures were exported all over the C' istian world, especially to northern Germany, western France, and Spain. One of the finest even life-si /cd recumbent effigies an iconographical innovation of the twelfth century, is combined with the Passion of Christ: God the Father, enthroned, broods over the in which the Trir, Cross on which haiigs the body of the Son, while above Christ's head soars the dove of the Holy Ghost.

Beneath the central arch is the Trinity in the form of a Throne of Mercy, while Mary and John appear in the lateral arcades in a way familiar from Last Judgments, imploring the for God of Judgment mercy for mankind. In contrast to the med- itative mysticism of the Throne of Mercy in Soest (page 51), here the representation is meant image of the to be apocalyptic, a direct final and is related to the consummation of the Eucharist effected on the altar beneath it. The vehement treatment of the dradestiny of humanity, pery, with its angular folds in the so-called "jagged style" which was typical of painting in the middle of the is in contrast with the monumental rigor of the picture as a whole.

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Art of the late Middle Ages by Hans Hellmut Hofstätter


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