The Virgin Mary Altarpiece, the former high altarpiece of the Church of the Virgin Mary in Csíkmenaság (today Armăşeni, Romania), detail
Old Hungarian Collection
|Object type||winged altar|
|Medium, technique||pine-wood, lindenwood, painted, gilded|
oltárszekrény sizee: 161 × 135 × 31 cm
|Collection||Old Hungarian Collection|
|On view||This artwork can be displayed at the permanent exhibition|
In the late Middle Ages, minor commissions were generally fulfilled by local, provincial workshops, while with the more refined pieces, they entrusted masters from the neighbouring cities of the Szepesség most of the time. Our altar is exceptional in such surroundings because it was made farther away, probably in Besztercebánya (today Banská Bystrica, Slovakia). Its closest analogy in style and structure is the former altarpiece of the Virgin’s chapel in the parish church of Pónik (today Poniky, Slovakia). The two retables were made in the same year, as witnessed by the inscriptions put in identical script and text (“ANNO DOMINI 1512 IAR”) and on the same location, namely on the crossbars separating the two scenes on both wings. The merits of the sculptor of the altarpiece are most apparent in the Saint Andrew figure of the shrine: in the sensitive rendering of the skin and the ruffles of the cloak folds at some places. This figure and that of Saint Bartholomew in the superstructure suggest the same stylistic links as the joinery.