ERHART, Gregor
(b. 1460/79, Ulm, d. 1540, Augsburg)

Mary Magdalene

c. 1500
Polychrome limewood
Musée du Louvre, Paris

This celebrated sculpture is also called "La Belle Allemande" for which a woodcut by Dürer from around 1500 may have served as a model. The harmonious and quiet earthly nudity of the saint, at once emphasized and concealed by the long hair, and the elegance of her pose pivoting in a slight contrapposto, reveal a desire for carnal beauty already in the Renaissance spirit and very far from the still Gothic interpretation which Riemenschneider had given to the same theme some ten years before.