NOTKE, Bernt
(b. ca. 1440, Lassahn, d. 1509, Lübeck)


German sculptor, the leading wood-carver in the Baltic area during his period. He worked mainly in Lübeck, where he is first recorded (as a painter) in 1647, but his masterpiece was executed in Sweden, where he was summoned in 1483 to make a monument commemorating a victory by the Regent, Sten Sture, over the Danes. The victory was attributed to the assistance of St George, and Notke's stirring group of St George and the Dragon (completed 1489) in the Storkyrka (Stockholm's main church) is one of the greatest of all votive images. Its spiky forms represent the most expressionistic strain in late Gothic art and the vividly naturalistic details include the use of real elk antlers for the dragon's horns.

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