(active c. 1015 in Hildesheim)

Bernward door (detail)

Bronze, 58 x 109 cm
Cathedral, Hildesheim

The detail shows the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

The Archbishop Bernward of Hildesheim commissioned these famous doors and also provided their iconographical theme - Sin and Redemption. The first doors cast in one piece (in 1015) in the West since Roman times, they rank as masterpieces of Ottonian art. The sculptor or sculptors seem to have worked from a painted model or to have been inspired by Carolingian miniatures. The background, conceived in a pictorial manner, provides a setting, its very low relief giving an illusion of space; the figures, on the other hand, are carved almost in the round, the upper parts of the bodies standing away from the background and the vigorous modelling accentuating the dramatic tension, so that the panel takes on the quality of full three-dimensional relief.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.