- Stoss, Veit
born 1438/47, Swabiadied 1533, NürnbergGerman sculptor and wood carver.He worked mainly in Poland from 1477 to 1496; among his principal works is the majestic high altar in the Church of the Virgin Mary in Kraków (1477–89). After his return to Germany, he settled in Nürnberg and produced important wood and stone sculptures in churches there and in Bamberg. His nervous, angular forms, realistic detail, and virtuoso wood carving synthesized the sculptural styles of Flemish and Danubian art, and he exercised great influence on German late Gothic sculpture.The Archangel Raphael, wood sculpture by Veit Stoss, 1516–18; ...Courtesy of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nurnberg
* * *▪ German sculptorPolish Wit Stosz, or Stwoszborn 1438/47, Swabia [Germany]died 1533, Nürnbergone of the greatest sculptors and wood-carvers of 16th-century Germany. His nervous, angular forms, realistic detail, and virtuoso wood carving synthesized the sculptural styles of Flemish and Danubian art and, together with the emotional force and dramatic realism of the Dutch sculptor Nicolaus Gerhaert von Leyden, exercised tremendous influence on the late Gothic sculpture of Germany, especially that of Nürnberg.Stoss grew up in Nürnberg. From 1477 to 1496 he worked mainly in Poland, Bohemia, and Hungary. His principal works are the majestic high altar, carved in limewood and painted, of the Church of the Virgin Mary in Kraków (1477–89) and the sculptured tombs of King Casimir IV and Archbishop Zbigniew Oleśnicki in the cathedrals of Kraków and Gniezno, respectively. When he returned to Nürnberg, he was defrauded of his savings. Attempting to regain them by forgery, he was discovered and branded, and he passed an embittered old age encumbered with civic disabilities, even though the Holy Roman emperor Maximilian I granted him full pardon.His work of this period includes important wood and stone sculpture in the churches of St. Sebaldus (1499, 1520) and St. Lorenz (1513, 1518) in Nürnberg and a carved altar in Bamberg cathedral (1523). These late works reveal greater restraint and compositional clarity, which probably derived from a study of the works of the Nürnberg painter Albrecht Dürer.
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