Tilman Riemenschneider

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Riemenschneider, Tilman


Born circa 1460 in Heiligenstadt, Thuringia; died July 7, 1531, in Würzburg. German Renaissance sculptor.

From 1483, Riemenschneider worked in Würzburg. Because of his ties with insurgent Franconian peasants, he was cast into prison in 1525 and tortured. Late Gothic dynamic form and jagged line characterize Riemenschneider’s early works, such as his statues of Adam and Eve (1491–93, stone, Main-Franconia Museum, Würzburg), the tomb of Rudolf von Scherenberg (1496–99, stone, Cathedral of St. Killian, Würzburg), and the Altar of the Holy Blood (1501–04, wood, Church of St. Jakob, Rothenburg).

Riemenschneider was among the first sculptors to abandon the practice of painting and gilding statues. Through his virtuoso treatment of texture he endowed his distinctly individualized sculptures with intense spirituality. He was particularly concerned with a lifelike rendering of gesture and facial expression.

Riemenschneider’s later works demonstrate the artist’s aspiration toward greater generalization and clarity of images and toward harmoniously balanced composition. Such works include the Altar of the Virgin (1505–10, wood, Church of the Lord, Creglingen), the tomb of Lorenz von Bibra (c. 1519, stone, Cathedral of St. Killian, Würzburg), and the relief The Mourning of Christ on the altar of the parish church in Maidbronn (1519–23, limestone).


Flesche, H. Tilman Riesenschneider (album). Dresden, 1957.
Gerstenberg, K. Tilman Riesenschneider [5th ed.]. Munich [1962].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Elsewhere, Tilman Riemenschneider's enchantingly-delicate wood carving A Female Saint (c.1515-1520) draws international visitors, while the star painting is arguably Mrs Baldwin in Eastern Dress (1782) by Sir Joshua Reynolds.
It was these two precursors, in the author's view, that were "harmoniously blended in a revised configuration" (24), thus producing the normative type; and it was this type that furnished the stage for artistic innovation and the experiments in plastic form by Niclas Gerhaerts van Leyden and Michael Pacher, the theatrical spaces of Veit Stoss and Tilman Riemenschneider, and the riotous swirling rhythms of the Zwettl Master.
Entitled 'The Return of the Saint', the event celebrated the arrival of an important new sculpture, 'A Female Saint' by the sixteenth century artist Tilman Riemenschneider.
His sources of influence came from the far-off reaches of early classical and Hellenistic Greece, from the polychrome woodwork of Veit Stoss and Tilman Riemenschneider, from the folk art, advertisements, and set pieces of the American circus and vaudeville, from Polish peasant art, from Asian and Egyptian sculpture.
The Franconian sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider was the great master of the pre-Reformation retable.
They include Portrait of Mrs Baldwin (1782) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Lot and his Daughters (c1530) by Lucas Cranach the Elder and rare sculpture Female Saint (c1515-20) by Tilman Riemenschneider.
The identification of an artist named Tilman Riemenschneider and of a body of work produced by him are ongoing tasks whose history is discussed in an absorbing catalogue essay, "A Shifting Critical Fortune," by Till-Holger Borchert.
Finally, visitors can see Female Saint, painted by fellow German Tilman Riemenschneider, bought from Sotheby's New York auction house for pounds 2 million.
Lewis Tilman Riemenschneider by Karen Wilkin Roger Martin du Gard by Ben Downing Seamus Heaney by Richard Tillinghast Diana Mosley by Brooke Allen Barenboim at Carnegie Hall by Jay Nordlinger