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Bernward Doors Unknown Sculptor Gebrüder Küsthardt (cast maker)


Unknown Sculptor

Gebrüder Küsthardt (cast maker) Hildesheim

Date 1015 (original), 1902 (cast)
Object type plaster cast
Medium, technique plaster cast

470 × 225 × 35 cm

Inventory number Rg.3
Collection Sculpture
On view Star Fortress (Komárom), Monumental Plaster Casts, Colleoni Hall

The bronze west doors of Hildesheim Cathedral were completed by 1015. Their name stems from the bishop who ordered them, Saint Bernward of Hildesheim (ca. 960 — 1022). He is named in a Latin inscription that runs right across the middle section of the doors. Both doors, each of which was cast in one piece, are decorated with biblical picture cycles. On the left door there are eight scenes from the Book of Genesis (from the Creation to the Murder of Abel), while on the right door we see eight scenes from the life of Christ (from the Annunciation to the Resurrection), which are to be “read” upwards, from bottom to top. As well as offering a chronological reading, the picture cycles can also be interpreted typologically, whereby the Old Testament scenes are precursors to the New Testament stories. Thus, the Fall of Man is placed alongside the Crucifixion, as the death of Jesus relieves believers of the burden of their sins, according to the theological writings of the church fathers.
Commissioned by the museum in 1902, cast by the Gebrüder Küsthardt company in Hildesheim. It was erected in 1908, in the Roman Hall.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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