UNKNOWN MASTER, German
(active c. 1160 in Cologne)

Siegburg Madonna

c. 1160
Stone, 41 X 41 cm
Museum Schnütgen, Cologne

Discovered in 1919 at the abbey of St Michael at Siegburg near Cologne, this fragment probably originally formed part of a gable for a stone sarcophagus or the canopy of a tomb. Stylistically, the relief may be related to the sculpture on the west portal at Chartres (c. 1145-55). It is an early example of the influence of the Gothic sculpture of the Ile-de-France on the art of Cologne.

The Virgin Mary was presented by medieval theology as the second Eve, who redeems the first by her obedience to God and thus also provides the means of redemption for humanity. This parallel with Eve is often made explicit in Romanesque artistic imagery by the presence of an apple in one of the Virgin's hands. An example of this can be seen in the Siegburg Madonna.




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