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Virgin and Child

Hans Leinbergerc. 1516

Renaissance and Reformation. German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach

Renaissance and Reformation. German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach

One of the most inventive artists of the late Middle Ages, Hans Leinberger created his powerful, impassioned works at a time when the veneration of religious images was increasingly criticized as idolatry. This group of the Virgin and Child is one of only two surviving attempts by the artist at bronze casting. One senses from the unfinished, at times rough quality of the work that he was experimenting with an unfamiliar medium. Indeed, he chose not to complete the work with chasing and polishing, probably realizing that the holes in the surface, which resulted from the bronze being cast too thinly, were beyond repair. Like Leinberger’s wood sculptures, this statuette is endowed with an astonishing sense of dynamism. The heavy folds of the garment resolve into an apparent weightlessness at the base, which suggests, if for a moment, that Mary is floating in midair

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Details

  • Title: Virgin and Child
  • Creator: Hans Leinberger
  • Date Created: c. 1516
  • Physical Dimensions: 45.5 cm
  • Technique and Material: Bronze
  • Provenance: Acquired in Munich in 1882
  • Museum: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunst
  • Inv.-No.: 381
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-815614
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/skulpturensammlung-und-museum-fuer-byzantinische-kunst/home.html
  • Copyright: Photo © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinisch Kunst/ Antje Voigt; Text © Renaissance and Reformation: German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach, A Cooperation of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen München, Catalogue of the Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Nov 20, 2016 – March 26, 2017, Munich: Prestel, 2016; cat. no. 12 / Julien Chapuis
  • Catalogue: https://prestelpublishing.randomhouse.de/book/Renaissance-and-Reformation/Stephanie-Buck/Prestel-com/e504919.rhd
  • Artist Dates: c. 1475–85 (?)–1531 Landshut
  • Artist Biography: Leinberger was primarily active in the ducal seat of Landshut, where he is listed as a woodcarver in archives a number of times from 1513 to 1530. Perhaps the sculptor, who also produced works in metal, was involved in work on the tomb of Emperor Maximilian I in Innsbruck. Leinberger’s sculpture combines late Gothic and Mannerism into a highly individual formal idiom. The expressive drapery of his figures developed a proto-Baroque dynamic that was adopted by many of his successors in Bavaria.

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