Virgin and Child
|Date||1243-1249 (original), 1909 (cast)|
|Medium, technique||plaster cast|
197 × 66 × 55 cm
|On view||This artwork is not on display|
The pillars of the early Gothic west choir of Naumburg Cathedral, which was built in the mid-thirteenth century, are surmounted by the life-size sculptures of the donors, who founded the city and the cathedral, including the painted sandstone sculptures of Ekkehard II, margrave of Meissen (ca. 985 – 1046), and his wife, Uta von Ballenstedt (ca. 1000 – 1046). Although executed some two centuries after the founders’ deaths, the peculiar aliveness and the individualised, portrait-like appearance of the sculptures have fascinated viewers ever since. The unknown sculptor, dubbed the Naumburg Master, may have begun his career in the building workshop of French cathedrals (Reims, Noyon, Metz, Amiens and Strasbourg) and participated in the sculptural decorations of German cathedrals – in Mainz and Meissen, besides the one in the Naumburg – presumably as the head of a workshop. The twelve donor sculptures of the west choir of Naumburg Cathedral, dating to the 1240s, are the master’s main masterpiece and a peak achievement of European Gothic sculpture.
Commissioned by the museum in 1909, the cast was made by August Gerber in Cologne. It was installed in the Romanesque Hall in 1910. Between 1997 and 2015 the cast was exhibited in the Library of the Museum of Fine Arts.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.