KONRAD von Soest
(active 1394-1422 in Westphalie)
Mixed media on wood, 73 x 56 cm
Parish church, Bad Wildungen
The work of the Dortmund painter Konrad von Soest should be seen in the context of early Cologne painting. This panel from the Wildung Altarpiece, which is dated 1403 and signed on the reverse side with "per conradem pictorem de suato" (by Konrad of Soest, painter), owe their effects to their detail and gently flowing style. The colour contrasts are surprising, with bright gold and yellows as well as deep blues and reds enlivening the scenes. Konrad's Nativity is a successful genre scene, showing Joseph on his knees, his cheeks puffed out as he blows on the fire. As we can see from his face, the world portrayed here is that of the earthy and blunt peasant - people and objects from everyday life provided religious painting with a range of pictorial effects and subjects.