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Bernt
Notke

Germany 
1435−1509
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German painter and sculptor.

 

His most famous sculptural work Saint George and the dragon. Dance of death (1477) of the Marienkirche in lübeck was destroyed during the Second world war, reached us only pre-war photo. Author version of this work in the Church. Nicholas in Tallinn preserved, as well as his altar there in the Church. Spirit. Note worked on the decoration of the Lübeck Cathedral and created for him, in 1477, 17-metre high triumphal cross. His altar's works are also in the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.

Burnt Note was born in Lassan in Pomerania. Now we can assume it is proved that the Note was trained in Tour, the Dutch centre of carpet weaving. Most likely, this happened in the largest workshop of a weaver and entrepreneur Pasquier Grenier.

 

With high probability we can say that the first great work of Note in lübeck was a huge thirty-meter frieze "Dance of Death" for one of the chapels of the Church of Mary.

 

A frieze, painted on canvas, served as a replacement woven tapestries and therefore was not considered by the then Guild rules the work of the painter. After the completion of this work Note asked to equate his Studio to studios of other artists, which meant to give his apprentices the rights of other journeymen, and, obviously, take him to the shop. This led to protests of the shop. But, despite the opposition of the workshop of painters, the city Council granted the request of a stranger Note. Undoubtedly, far-sighted city fathers saw in him a person who can glorify lübeck beyond it.

 

From the very start before the workshop Notes were placed large and time-consuming task. But the master had the right to use the services of only two apprentices. Note cheated. He began to attract assistants without special training and is therefore not subject to registration in the shop, who were doing all the utility work that has freed up time and hands for skilled work.

 

The nature of the orders and a set of performers also demanded changes in the work process and the use of materials. Sculptural composition Note made a huge impression when looking at them from afar. In fact, most of them it is calculated. Then they conquer the monumental design and dramatic pathos.

 

Up close, you can see along with excellent detail, extensive areas of made not that sloppy, but just helpless. It is the result of untrained service personnel. Often quite deliberately designed for coloring works are not ever to end based on the subsequent work of the painter. So the sculptures are the Touch of, deprived of the coloring seem so weak sometimes.

 

But of course, it is not important. From the earliest works of Note are distinguished by the desire for a monumental sound, the breadth of scope. It is characterized also pathos, seriousness, even sadness images.

 

Such features are characteristic of the first monumental works of the artist - triumphal cross in lübeck's Cathedral. This complex of architectural and sculptural construction with an abundance of figures and decorative elements, occupying the entire span of the Central nave in front of the altar barrier of the Cathedral. Its height is about seventeen feet. It is significantly different from the harsh and ascetic crosses from earlier eras, and contemporary.

 

In wealth, even the pomp of the triumphal cross of lübeck Cathedral is rather not reflected the desire of the sculptor, and tastes of the customer - Bishop albert II of Cromedica. The latter was known as the prodigal Prince of the Church. Triumphant cross, designed to serve the purposes of the cult, in essence, has become a kind of monument to the glory of the Bishop. Two inscriptions, one Latin, the other German - misleading the customer name and the date of installation - 1477 year. But never named the name of the author.

 

The authorship of the Note was definitively established when, in the course of the restoration of the monument with the statue of St. John was found a piece of parchment. The inscription on it clearly calls the burnt Notes of the Creator of the statue.

 

The immense size and lush character of the triumphant cross of lübeck Cathedral. "The composition includes ten figures - writes M. Y. Libman, from four-to Christ, and almost three-meter upcoming small statues of the patriarchs and apostles.

 

Beautiful, even in its own elegant architectural composition of the ensemble. Keel-shaped arches with a springy bend support heavy cross. Its weight it is based on the General console arches. The weight of the cross crucified is emphasized by the location of the assisting figures: the closest to him kneeling on quite low pedestals, then go to Mary and John, standing upright on a pedestal higher, and finally Adam and eve, although smaller in size, but raised above figures upcoming. Create a beautiful architectural motif in the form of brackets embracing the cross. At the same time pieces as though keep moving arches: the centre - through the Magdalene and the Bishop to Christ, to the sides - through Mary and John to Adam and eve. The fractional loop garlands around cross, clear silhouettes of the slender figure the upcoming, accurate drawing of an architectural detail - all this gives the ensemble ... elegance and ease. That the sculptor had intended from the beginning to create the ensemble, evidenced by the inclusion of the altar barrier (letter), located below the cross, then, for him. The unique Gothic well, lettner (as always, the stone) was not rebuilt. The touch he was covered with carved wood decoration, which elements are - first and foremost keel - shaped arch, making it look like the decoration of the triumphal cross."

 

Each of the figures of the ensemble as if surrounded by "his" space, but they share the composite system of the whole. Such independence of the figures is characteristic of early sculptural works Note. This can be seen in the altar of the Cathedral in Aarhus (1479).

 

The main altar of the Cathedral is a traditional structure with two pairs of movable and a pair of fixed wing. The dimensions of the box equal to 2.25 metres squared, and the height of the main figures of about 1.8 meters. There are placed statues, and the interior parts of the inner folds in the superstructure. Everything else is covered with paintings.

 

Here, the best impression is made small figures of the apostles on the inner sides of the inner folds. "Their movements are freer, - said M. Y. Libman - type variety. But they do not feel the spirituality of images, the triumphant cross. The impression that he burnt the Note have not experienced the fun of this work, because, unlike lübeck cross, the task was stereotyped and not sparked his creative imagination. This is just a hypothesis, but maybe the wizard felt the need to update your repertoire, find new forms and expressive elements for future work. That he was able to go again on the path of innovation, evidenced by his work 1480-ies".

 

At this time in the work touch the stronger the influence of Netherlandish art. This is primarily manifested in the scrupulous transmission of all parts and in great detail. The artist with pleasure plays in the paint or in the tree game of the folds of the fabrics, detail "studying" all the turns and curves of the robe. He is trying to convey human emotion through expressive facial expressions or a characteristic gesture, which is also typical of "Dutch". A certain naivety, a childlike perception of the world also brings a Touch of Dutch art. And last of all: his art also remains in the realm of religious-idealistic views and does not penetrate to himself any secular elements.

 

All this in full measure can be found in the multi-leaf wooden altar in the Church of the Holy spirit in Tallinn. He was made master of the order of the Tallinn magistrate in 1483.

 

The middle part of the altar is framed by a fine Gothic carving and represents the interior of a small chapel. In the center sits on the throne of the virgin, on either side of her standing and the kneeling apostles, on the left in the prayer posture kneeling donator, the customer of the altar, the Tallinn mayor didrik the Bus. The scene depicts the descent of the Holy spirit on the apostles. In the side leaves are figures of saints Olaf, Viktor, Anna and Elizabeth (two each side) and the rear part of the doors painted with scenes from the life of St. Elizabeth and of the passion of Christ. Of course, the Touch of not one created this great composition - he was helped by his disciples. But some of the scenes, the leadership in the performance figures (and there are over thirty) and the creation of a unifying whole composition of architectural decoration - all the handiwork of the master himself. This altar is considered one of the masterpieces of Northern Gothic.

 

Another and perhaps the most famous work - the statue of St. George.

 

10 October 1471, the Swedish Regent Wall Sture defeated at the battle of Brunkeberg near Stockholm the Danes and freed Sweden from the Danish yoke. According to him, the win helped him St. George, and a pious military leader vowed to put an altar in the Church of Saint Nicholas in the Swedish capital.

 

In 1483 the Touch moved from lübeck to Stockholm. In 1486 he was doing some errands diplomatic character to Sten Sture. In 1491 he was appointed his state monetariy. Perhaps in gratitude for the excellent work completed at the end of 1489, Sture and made a Note of the order for the statue of St. George.

 

This is one of the most bizarre and mysterious works of late Gothic sculpture. Just to understand the composition of this statue (its height is about 3 meters), you need to spend some time. One glance at the sophisticated silhouette of the sculpture there is a sense of unusual, wonderful. The viewer enters the world of the simple tale, rising, apparently, to the old folk motives. At the same time, an exaggerated expression of the sculpture, its pretentiousness and complexity evoke a sense of the dramatic situation. Only figure George dominates conglomeration of shapes like an impregnable rock. Looking at the sculpture, gradually distinguish a white horse, covered with gold ornaments, and prostrate under him of the dragon. The wizard applies here unexpected and spectacular reception, decorating the body of the dragon moose and deer horns, which, of course, reinforces the impression of fabulousness. A little aside on a separate pedestal is placed figure of the Princess, which, according to legend, saves from dragon George. She's on her knees, calmly, almost indifferently contemplating the events before the fight. In all this, I felt the living breath of the Middle ages. But even the master himself, maybe against their will, makes it clear that this era is gone, turned into a fairy tale, a myth. And the statue, created by the Touch, is perceived as the last surge of the true medieval spirit, as a great, but obviously doomed to fail attempt to bring back the past.

 

In 1498 Notes returned from Stockholm to lübeck. In 1505 he became a Trustee of the construction of the local Church of St. Peter, and four Years later the master died.

 

Almost twenty years of his life Note was not engaged in significant artistic activity. At this time he mainly performs responsible work of monetariy, is a risky trading operation.

 

However, the Note remained with the artist until the end of life, evidenced by the excellent, but relatively few late in his work. For big orders, he was not taken, although there were many, giving their young independent artists.

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