The Olomouc Workshop of the Master of Crucifixion from Kunčice circa 1500
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A remarkable collection of sculpture has survived in the border region between Bohemia and Moravia. They originated in the woodcarving workshops that operated in the cultural area around the City of Olomouc circa 1500. The little-known works, recently studied during the author's research on eastern Bohemian Gothic sculpture, significantly extend our knowledge of the range of workshop activity in this Moravian city at that time. The article looks at a sculpture of St Catherine from Česká Třebová and a sculpture of Anna Selbdritt (the Virgin and the Child with St Anne) from Nový Dvůr u Jaroměřic, both of which come from the workshop of the Master of the Crucifixion from Kunčice, which was probably already operating in Olomouc by the end of the 15th century. Finding these two works in the border region between Bohemia and Moravia is significant not just in that it expands the oeuvre and iconographic repertoire of sculptural work by the Olomouc workshop of the Master of the Crucifixion from Kunčice, but in that, when viewed in the cultural-historical context of the assumed commissioning party, both sculptures are of enormous value as sources of information on the character of local late mediaeval culture in that region. The article devotes special attention to the artistic patronage of those members of the Moravian nobility whose estates extended beyond the provincial border of Moravia and who contributed to shaping the cultural and political life of eastern Bohemia in the late Gothic and early Renaissance periods. The two sculptural works undeniably add strength to the assumption that the workshop of the Master of the Crucifixion from Kunčice was operating in the cultural area around Olomouc in the first third of the 16th century and its influence reached beyond the borders of the Margraviate of Moravia. The article also notes the genesis of the workshop's distinctive style, which seems initially to have been very influenced by the work of Veit Stoss in Krakow and Nuremburg, but which in its later days moved on to and drew in a distinctive way on a new source of inspiration, the early prints of Albrecht Dürer.
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