MASTER PAUL of Lőcse
(active 1500-1520 in Upper Hungary)
High Altarpiece of St. James1508-17
Wood, total height 18,62 m
St James Church, Lőcse (presently Levoca)
The altarpiece was executed by the workshop of Master Paul of Lőcse who was the pupil of Veit Stoss, the sculptor of the St Mary altarpiece in Cracow. The Altarpiece of St James is the largest and most valuable creation of the workshop, it can be compared with the best European winged altars.
The three figures in the central part of the altarpiece, St James (height 232 cm), the Madonna (height 247 cm) and St John the Evangelist, are the work of Master Paul, the other parts of the altarpiece were probably executed by assistants.
The reliefs (186 x 110 cm each) on the open altarwings represents scenes from the life of the Apostles: on the left the Dispensation of the Apostles and Beheading of St James, on the right St John in Patmos and St John Boiled in Oil. The predella (60 x 260 cm) shows the Last Supper. In the upper part of the altarpiece (not shown in the picture) nine statues representing the Doctors of Church and Apostles (height 112 cm) can be found. When the wings are closed eight panels (195 x 110 cm), representing the Passion of Christ, can be seen. The paintings were executed after the engravings by the German painter, Martin Schongauer.