The sculpture of Tilman Riemenschneider stands at the threshold of two eras. Solidly anchored in the late Gothic tradition, it is also astonishingly daring. Riemenschneider, who was active in Wurzburg from around 1483 until 1531, was one of the first sculptors to abandon polychromy on occasion, making a conscious aesthetic decision to leave visible his favored material, limewood. His sculpture strikes a rare balance between formal elegance and expressive strength, and it is among the most appealing work of the late Middle Ages.The approximately fifty works documented in this handsome volume offer a fresh look at this great master. The book presents a broad survey of Riemenschneider's oeuvre, including representative work from all periods of his career. Contributors explore the sources for his art, his social millieu and the organization of his workshop, the critical reception of his work, his polychrome and monochrome sculpture. Photographs commissioned especially for the book present the great altarpieces in Rothenburg on the Tauber, Creglingen, and Maidbronn as well as the large stone sculpture in Wurzburg. The book is the first publication in English with color reproductions of a significant portion of Riemenschneider's oeuvre.
From Library Journal:
A remarkable German sculptor, Riemenschneider produced delicate religious pieces in stone and wood from the late 15th to early 16th centuries. Time took its toll on his work, and the sculptures were broken up, destroyed, or forgotten. As part of an exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 45 of Riemenschneider's sculptures have been brought back together. This book serves not only as a catalog but also as a detailed introduction to this fine artisan and his work. Chapuis, an assistant curator in the Department of Medieval Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, along with contributing scholars and specialists, has fleshed out the artist's life, his period, and his contributions. Most interesting is the discussion of Riemenschneider's development of monochromy: rather than undertake a heavy use of paint on his pieces, he preferred to let the wood show through, contrary to the convention of the time. The full-page color pictures show every detail of the carvings. Recommended for academic libraries and specialized collections.
-Karen Ellis, Baldwin Boettcher Lib., Humble, TX
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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