(mid-11th century)

Head of St Metronus

c. 1050
Abbey Church, Gernrode

The dating of this head of St Metronus, now part of the decoration of the Holy Sepulcher in the Gernrode abbey church, is much discussed. German historians have suggested dates fluctuating between 980, which seems rather too early, and 1100, or even later. It is one of the most extraordinary heads in northern Romanesque art. With great economy of means the sculptor has created a face of astonishing realism; the expression is powerful and the chin and forehead suggest will and determination. A sense of deep, all-encompassing faith radiates from this head, which is already imbued with German expressionism.

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