NOTKE, Bernt
(b. ca. 1440, Lassahn, d. 1509, Lübeck)

St George and the Dragon (detail)

Painted wood
Storkyrkan, Stockholm

This sculptor and painter, whose presence at Lübeck is documented from 1467 onwards, is the greatest medieval artist from the Hanseatic region. Notke is traditional in his feeling for complex composition, but a vigorous innovator in the individual qualities that he brings to the concentration of action and of figures. This terrifying confrontation of Heaven and Hell is his greatest achievement. One of the numerous works that he carved for Scandinavian towns, it was commissioned by the Swedish authorities for the national sanctuary to commemorate the victory over the Danes at Brukeberg on St. George's Day, 1471.

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