(recorded 1493-1526 in Strasbourg)


Nikolaus Haguenauer (Nikolaus von Hagenau), German sculptor, born in Haguenau, Alsace. In 1493 he became a citizen of Strasbourg, where he is last mentioned in 1526. Although three inscriptions with his name are documented, it is difficult to relate them to existing works, so attributions are based on stylistic analysis. Haguenauer is thought to have made the male half-length figure on the balustrade above the entrance to St Andrew's Chapel in the south transept of Strasbourg Cathedral. In 1500-01 he was commissioned to carve the Corpus Christi retable (dismantled 1682) for the high altar of the cathedral. Some parts survive, including the predella figures of a Lamentation (Strasbourg, College Episcopal St Etienne) and busts of two prophets (Strasbourg, Musée de l'Oevre Notre-Dame).

In 1505 he carved the figures for the altarpiece (Colmar, Musée d'Unterlinden) in the Anthonite church at Isenheim, Alsace, for which Matthias Grünewald painted the wings some ten years later. The predella shows half-length figures of Christ and the Twelve Apostles. In the middle of the shrine is the enthroned figure of St Anthony together with the kneeling donor Jean d'Orliac flanked by St Jerome and St Augustine. At the feet of St Anthony there were originally figures of a country squire and a peasant bearing a cock and a piglet as offerings. The space above the canopies is filled with fine vegetal carvings. The figures are carved in limewood and preserve much of the original polychromy; their relative scale reflects differences in social standing.

To a certain degree Haguenauer continued the style of Nicolaus Gerhaert, but the faces of his figures show his penetrating powers of observation and his skill in expressing intellectual and psychological content.