RIEMENSCHNEIDER, Tilman
(b. ca. 1460, Osterode, d. 1531, Würzburg)

Salome

1500-10
Limewood, half life-size
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Salome's head is from a group of the Holy Kindred.

German sculptures in the late 15th century reflect uncompromisingly rugged, almost brutal qualities in the cutting of the folds and the choice of the model. This is a Germanic art of wars and dungeons and tortures rather than of ideals or love. At the same time, alongside with violence some lyricism still persists. At times this delicacy of feeling falls into sentimentality - a distinction not always sharp in German thought. The tendency seems to be present in the superb head of Salome by Riemenschneider, perhaps the greatest carver of the turn of the century.