UNKNOWN MASTER, German
(active c. 1085 in Westphalia)

The Imad Madonna

c. 1085
Wood
Diözesanmuseum, Paderborn

This Virgin was given to the Treasury of Paderborn Cathedral by the builder-Bishop, Imad, in about 1085. It was originally covered in gold leaf, like similar Virgins in the rest of Europe, but the basis for the metal sheathing, instead of being a crudely carved core, was a finished statue. It is a fully Romanesque sculpture, as opposed to the barbarian Virgins in Majesty or the imperial Virgins of the beginning of the century. The handling is restrained, almost severe, and the Mother of God has a sovereign dignity. The placing of the Christ Child in profile marks the beginning of an evolution; the Virgin was soon to hold her son naturally in her arms.




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