German Sculpture of the Later Renaissance, c. 1520-1580: Art in an Age of Uncertainty

German Sculpture of the Later Renaissance, c. 1520-1580: Art in an Age of Uncertainty

by Jeffrey Chipps Smith




During the Reformation, statues and carvings of saints, once commonly revered as aids to salvation, were condemned by increasing numbers of Protestants as fearsome idols. Moral doubts coupled with widespread acts of iconoclasm meant potential ruin for hundreds of German sculptors whose economic livelihood depended traditionally on church commissions. Focusing on how sculptors adjusted to this cultural tumult, Jeffrey Chipps Smith offers the first comprehensive examination of the artistic response to the challenge of the Reformation in German lands. In so doing he exposes the years leading up to the Counter-Reformation as a period of surprising artistic vibrance.

Using paradigmatic case studies, Smith explores the reshaping of German sculpture. From the ashes of iconoclasm emerges a nascent Protestant art with dynamic new production centers, such as Dresden; an introspective Catholic renovatio occurs in which art presents a tangible means of reestablishing spiritual bonds with the pre-Reformation church. Smith reveals the diversity and ingenuity of a generation of sculptors whose productions range from magnificent tombs, intricate fountains, and other architectural carvings articulating princely and civic aspirations, to intimate carved portraits, bronze statuettes, and finely cut stone reliefs intended to grace a patrician home. The volume comprises a biographical catalog of forty-four of the most important sculptors from the period.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691032375
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 07/03/1994
Pages: 552
Product dimensions: 9.50(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Jeffrey Chipps Smith is Professor of Art History at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of Nuremberg: A Renaissance City (Texas).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Ch. 1For Our Salvation: The Role of Religious Art in Pre-Reformation Germany10
Ch. 2Art or Idol?31
Three Case Studies37
Ch. 3The Impact of the Reformation on Religious Sculpture, c. 1520-155546
Sculptors in a Difficult Age46
The Story of Four Sculptors57
Loy Hering57
Benedikt Dreyer58
Peter Dell the Elder61
Hans Reinhart68
Complex Church Programs72
The Neue Stift at Halle72
Neuburg an der Donau81
Ch. 4Religious Sculpture after the Peace of Augsburg, 1555-158095
August of Saxony and the School of Dresden96
Other Lutheran Sculptural Programs in North Germany104
Catholic Sculpture and the Council of Trent108
Five Case Studies111
Ingolstadt and Innsbruck123
Ch. 5In Memoriam: Epitaphs and Simple Tombs127
The Vischer Family129
Loy Hering138
Hans Schenck143
Hans Bildhauer147
Cornelis Floris of Antwerp149
Changes in Memorial Form and Iconography152
Ch. 6Commemorative Series and Complex Tombs157
Episcopal and Princely Series157
Complex Tomb Projects171
The Shrine of Elector Moritz of Saxony in Freiberg175
The Cenotaph of Emperor Maximilian I in Innsbruck182
The Prussian Memorials in Konigsberg192
Ch. 7The Renaissance Fountain198
House Fountains199
Civic Fountains216
Garden Fountains226
Ch. 8Sculpture and Architecture245
Residential Sculpture245
The City Residence at Landshut: Ludwig X of Bavaria and the Decoration of the Italian Hall247
From Dresden to Heidelberg, or the Transition from Ornament to Art251
Sculpture and Civic Architecture260
The Saga of the Nuremberg Rathaus Grille261
Sculpture and Civic Aspirations: The Rathaus Porches in Cologne and Wittenberg263
Ch. 9Small Collectible Sculpture: A Study in the History of Taste270
Art in the Private Sphere270
The Exquisite Relief and Statuette281
Plaquettes and Replicable Sculpture294
Sculpture and the Collector303
Ch. 10The Emergence of Sculptural Portraits317
The German Medal: Portrait of Success321
Hans Schwarz and the Diet of Augsburg in 1518323
The First Generation of Medallists328
The Creative Impulse and Its Obstacles335
Portrait Alternatives: Reliefs and Busts337
Hans Daucher and the Popularization of Portraiture338
Johann Gregor van der Schardt and Bust Portraiture349
Conclusion: Steps towards a New Sculptural Legacy358
Biographical Catalogue of Selected Sculptors363
Photographic Credit487

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