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Helena Dáňová

The Late Gothic Relief in the National Gallery in Prague from the Workshop of Jörg Lederer

A previously unpublished late mediaeval wood carving of St Anne with the Virgin and Child (Anna Selbdritt), of unknown provenience, was acquired by the National Gallery in Prague from a private collection. At the National Gallery it was initially deemed the work of Petr Breuer of Cvikov (circa 1472-1541). However, a stylistic analysis and comparison with related works revealed that the sculpture was created around the year 1515 in the workshop of Jörg Lederer of Kaufbeuren (active 1499-1550). This Anna Selbdritt at the National Gallery is a contemporary variation on the devotional sculpture of Anna Selbdritt from Reutte in Tyrol (circa 1515), which, however, was irreparably re-carved in the late baroque. The National Gallery's version thus serves as unique evidence of the original appearance of this important and still venerated sculpture. Another very valuable feature of the Anna Selbdritt in the National Gallery is the layer of surviving early Renaissance polychrome that was uncovered during restoration work carried out in 2009-2010. The unusual way in which the artist styled the veil wrapped around St Anne's head points to inspiration from Albrecht Dürer's print titled Virgin and Child with St Anne from 1501, and the somewhat unique way in which the clothed child is depicted is also based on Dürer's prints, which served as a major source of inspiration for altar compositions (e.g. in Latsch im Vintschgau) by Lederer's workshop.

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