THE CREATORS OF THE RETABLE IN ST JAMES'S CHURCH IN NYSA. ON THE ARRANGEMENT AND COSTS OF FURNISHING CHURCH INTERIORS IN THE MID 15th CENTURY
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Researchers have taken no notice so far of records in the municipal books of Nysa, mentioning contracts with painters who were commissioned to produce the main altar retable for St James's Church. The three contracts, signed in the years 1451-1453, contain specific information on the working conditions and payment offered to master painters, as well as on the division of labour and the materials used. The retable cost over 450 marks of silver; in addition the municipal council was obliged to provide accommodation for the two painters employed and exempted one of them from customary municipal taxes and charges. As the preserved panel of the retable shows clear stylistic resemblance to St Barbara's altar in Wroclaw, the Nysa record makes it possible to identify the anonymous creators of the latter. The contracts mention Master Wilhelm of Aachen and Master Martin. The former can be identified as master Wilhelm Kalteysen of Aachen, of whom there are mentions from the 1460s, and who decorated the organs in the convent of regular canons in Klodzko. The records in question confirm the hypothesis that St Barbara's altar in Wroclaw was a joint work of two painters and specify the time of the creation of St James's retable.
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