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Bust of a Woman, from the Choir Stalls of the Fugger Chapel, Augsburg

Unknownpre 1518

Bode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Bode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Berlin, Germany

The Fugger Chapel in the Carmelite Church of St. Anne in Augsburg is the building that marked the foundation of the Renaissance in Germany. The wealthy Jakob Fugger chose the location for a tomb for himself and his family, and commissioned the most celebrated artists of the day to construct and ornament it. Three works now in the Berlin Sculpture Collection, including this woman in a turban, were a part of these chapel furnishings, where they originally belonged to a series of sixteen busts on the choir stalls. Twelve of the sixteen were lost in Berlin in the Second World War; one is now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The three surviving pieces in Berlin, two of which show young women in exotic garb and the other one a man whose book and apparel identify him as a man of learning, were damaged and needed to be reconstructed in some sections. Nonetheless, they retain their vivid, lifelike, yet noble impact. Who the busts were meant to represent has not been established.

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