Strassburger Werkstattgemeinschaft (Lautenbach Master)
German (Swabia); From the chapter house of Constance Cathedral
Pot-metal glass and vitreous paint
(1998.215.1) 19 1/2 x 16 3/8 in. (49.5 x 41.6 cm); (1998.215.2) 19 5/8 x 16 3/8 in. (49.8 x 41.6 cm)
The Cloisters Collection, 1998 (1998.215.1,2)
About 1480, Peter Hemmel von Andlau and his Strassburger Werkstattgemeinschafta loose association of glass-painting workshops that had been founded three years earlier and that all worked in the Master's stylewere commissioned by the dean and chapter of Constance Cathedral to glaze the chapter house. Of the original eighty-one panels, only nineteen, including the present two, have survived.
The idiosyncratic Hemmel style is typified in the Mater dolorosa by the delicately modeled features of the figure's round, fleshy face and by the dramatic exuberance of the drapery, its broad planes juxtaposed with tubular folds and deep crevices. Characteristic of the Hemmel technique is the preference for defining volume and form with mattes, subtly worked with the brush (stumping) and the stylus, rather than with trace lines and hatchings. The lush Astwerk, essentially a translation of canopies and tracery from an architectural to a vegetal vocabulary, set against a rich, damascened background, is an innovative hallmark of the Hemmel manner.