Buttery, Ruth Marie (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis explores the origins of the monochrome works of Tilman Riemenschneider (c.1460-1531) to clarify if this was an intentional finish. It focuses on the sculptor’s Münnerstadt, Rothenberg and Creglingen altarpieces. The discussion which combines new observations with previous scholar’s theories, examines the nature of the monochrome glaze and Riemenschneider’s carving of detailed sculptural surfaces to enhance the monochrome altarpieces; places Riemenschneider’s use of the monochrome medium in its social context, addressing both religious and secular concerns; researches the influence of three-dimensional and two-dimensional media on Riemenschneider’s development of the monochrome aesthetic; and investigates a theory put forward by Michael Baxandall concerning the use of natural sunlight in Riemenschneider’s monochrome altarpieces. The examinations conclude that monochrome was indeed an intentional finish by Riemenschneider, which in my view is strengthened though out this discussion by new comparisons between Riemenschneider and Jan Borreman (a Netherlandish contemporary). Similarities of compositional design, such as spatial arrangements and the use of windows in the back of the corpus demonstrate the likelihood of a connection between them.
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