(active 1152-1154 in Magdeburg)

Bronze Door

St Sophie's Cathedral, Novgorod

The west portal of St Sophie's Cathedral in Novgorod is fitted with two monumental bronze doors, which, however, were not originally intended for this site. They were cast in a workshop in Germany, in Magdeburg. It is not known when, how, and why the doors came to Russia, it is assumed that the transport could be dated to the fourteenth century.

The doors show portraits of master-founders and donor bishops, and a general iconography centred on the Old and new testaments, crowned by two rectangular panels depicting the Ascension and the Theophany.

These doors testify to a tradition of founding which goes back to the prestigious Ottonian works of Bernward of Hildesheim, and is famous in Germanic region for the production of candlesticks, aquamaniles, crucifixes and censers.

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