Soft Style

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Soft Style


a current in Late Gothic Western European art from roughly 1380 to 1440; it was particularly widespread in German and Bohemian art. Works produced in the soft style were permeated by unconventional mystical elements and were marked by a distinctive kind of lyricism and emotional intensity.

They reflected the decline of hieratical influences in medieval art. Paintings in the soft style were produced by the Master of the Třeboři Altar and by Konrad von Soest, the Master of the Upper Rhine. In sculpture the soft style is evident in small altar statues of the beautiful madonna (stone, wood, and, rarely, alabaster).


Pinder, W. “Zum Problem der ‘Schönen Madonnen’ um 1400.” Jahrbuch derpreussischen Kunstsammlungen, 1923, vol. 44, pages 147–70.
Ausstellung: Schöne Madonnen, 1350–1450 (catalog). Salzburg, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.