UNKNOWN MASTER, German
(active around 1370 in Cologne)
Friesentor Virginc. 1370
Walnut, painted and gilded, height 132 cm
Schnütgen Museum, Cologne
This statue is one of the outstanding examples of the Beautiful Madonnas (Schöne Madonnen), a characteristic type of the International Style (or International Gothic) which came into being in Bohemia and quickly became widespread. Although the basic type of the standing Virgin with the Child on her left arm derives from French cathedral sculpture of the 13th century, these works produced around 1400 set new standards both as sculptures and as religious images.
The present walnut statue which still largely preserves its original colouring, came originally from one of the city gates, the Friesentor, in Cologne.