The Dangolsheim Madonna

Niclaus Gerhaert von Leyden (or circle)c. 1460/65

Bode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Bode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

This Madonna – named after the place where it last resided, the village of Dangholsheim east of Strasbourg, before being purchased for the collector Dr. Richard Oertel – ranks as one of the most magnificent achievements of Late Gothic sculpture. It probably reached Dangolsheim from the Carthusian monastery at nearby Molsheim. The conception of the statue is extraordinary: the figure and the drapery twist in opposite directions like two intertwined spirals. The figure seems to be in motion, as if she were about to step off the edge of the base towards us. The naked infant, curly haired and lively, is looking off into the distance with a distraught expression, as if foreseeing his later fate, and at the same time seems to be seeking refuge under his mother’s veil. Relics were kept in a cavity in Mary’s back, and at one time she wore a coronet of filigree ornamental leafage.

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Interview mit Julien Chapuis (Leiter des Bode-Museums)

Interview with Julien Chapuis (Manager of the Bode-Museum)