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Creator Nationality: Southern Germany, Swabia, 15th century
Creator Name-CRT: Southern Germany, Swabia, 15th century
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1435
Creation End Date: 1450
Creation Date: c. 1435-1450
Object Type: Prints
Classification Term: Print
Materials and Techniques: woodcut, colored by hand
Dimensions: Sheet: 38.7cm x 28.8cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 2002.4
Credit Line: Severance Millikin Trust
Provenance: [Sotheby's, London, June 27th, 1988, lot 65]; [N.G. Stogdon, London, German and Netherlandish Woodcuts of the 15th and 16th Centuries, 1991, cat. no 1]; Idemitsu Corporation Museum, Tokyo; [Christie's, London, July 3, 2001, lot 31], bought by N.G. Stogdon and Bob Light
Style or Period: Southern Germany, Swabia, 15th century
Context: Although playing cards were also produced, the great majority of 15th-century woodcuts depicted religious subjects. Narratives about Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints were pictured for the spiritual enlightenment of a mostly illiterate public. These simple, direct images, sold at pilgrimage sites and fairs, were pasted onto altarpieces and walls to be used for personal devotion. Since they were invested with near magical powers, woodcuts were also sewn into clothing and placed in books and other personal objects to protect against sickness, famine, and war.The color and style of the Pietà indicate it was probably produced during the mid-1400s in southern Germany and inspired by sculptural prototypes-polychromed wood and stone pietàs, known as Vesperbilder, were common in Germany at the time (see an example in Gallery 214). The Pietà's large size, fresh color, and relatively fine state of preservation make it exceedingly rare; there are only about twenty northern single sheet (single image) woodcuts extant. Perhaps these large images had a more public function, so few have survived.
AMICA ID: CMA_.2002.4
AMICA Library Year: 2003
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