Mercury and Psyche
|Dimensions:||131 x 39 x 19 cm|
On seeing an indigent beggar, the knight gave him half of his robe, according to the legend of Saint Martin. The scene of a soldier on his horse, preparing
to cut his robe in two was a common theme in medieval depictions. The Budapest sculpture is different in that it was originally situated in a niche, and so the narrow space required a standing figure (instead of a scene). Saint Martin is wearing
the typical vestment of an archbishop, while the tiny figure of the beggar is shown at his feet. The unknown artist of the Budapest sculpture faithfully follows the carving methods for sculptures of archbishops, employing the upwardly broadening mitre and naturalistic wrinkles that were typical of Tilman Riemenschneider’s workshop.