(active 1100-1150 in Magdeburg)

The Young St Adalbert and his Parents

Cathedral, Gniezno

The origin of the doors of Gniezno Cathedral in Poland is mysterious: they have been pronounced in turn Polish, Bohemian, Byzantine, or even Crimean. The most likely theory is that the door, cast in one piece, came from Magdeburg. The entirely Germanic iconography and the depictions of the life of St Adalbert (a friend of Otto III) support this attribution. The distortions in form, the linear treatment of the draperies, the low relief, the faults caused by clumsy casting and removal from the mold, mark it as a Romanesque work. Byzantine and antique elements remain dominant, however, in the composition and in the proportions of the bodies.

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