MOSER, Lukas
(b. ca. 1390, Weil der Stadt, d. after 1434)

Magdalene Altar

Mixed technique on wood, 300 x 240 cm
St Mary Magdalene, Tiefenbronn

This altarpiece ranks among those exceptional works produced in Germany in the first half of the 15th century. It is as important to the art of German-speaking lands as van Eyck's Ghent Altarpiece is to that of the Netherlands. Both were completed in 1432.

The main front of the Magdalene Altar is divided into three scenes, all obeying the same perspective and lit from a single source. The pediment depicts the Feast in the house of Simon, while below we see the voyage of Saints Mary Magdalene, Martha, Lazarus, Maximinus and Sidonius (left); Saints Sidonius, Maximinus, Lazarus and Martha asleep (centre); St Mary Magdalene appearing to the prince and his wife in a dream (above); and the Last Communion of St Mary Magdalene (right).

The landscape and architecture create an astonishing impression of depth and are observed with a keen eye: the sea is partly underlaid with a sheet of metal foil to make it look more watery.

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