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Relief unidentified female saint

Relief unidentified female saint

  • Place of origin:

    Swabia (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1520 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Limewood, painted and gilded

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Mr Henry Oppenheimer through Art Fund

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture 1300-1600, Room 26, case 3

This relief representing an unidentified femal saint probably formed part of a wing of an altarpiece. The style of the drapery and the facial features have their closest affinities with altarpieces produced in the workshop of Jakob Maurus, active in Kempten/Allgäu around 1510-20. Although this is not likely to come from Maurus's own workshop, the scheme of the drapery the physiognomies, and the thick curly locks of hair seen in this relief are stylistically closely related to his work, and were probably made in the region of Kempten, Upper Swabia.

Physical description

Relief of an unidentified female saint in limewood. The crowned figure stands, her head slightly inclined to the left. The clock, which falls over her left arm and shoulder is caught up in her right hand. She wears a small cape over a high-waisted gown.

Place of Origin

Swabia (made)


ca. 1520 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Limewood, painted and gilded


Height: 109 cm, Width: 44 cm, Depth: 6 cm

Object history note

Probably exhibited at the Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts, USA, before 1927. Acquired by Henry Oppenheimer from an unknown American private collection at an unknown date before 1927. Given by Oppenheimer together with A.90-1927 through the National Art Collection Fund in 1927.

Historical significance: The style of the drapery and the facial features have their closest affinities with altarpieces of Jakob Maurus, active in Kempten/Allgäu in southwest Germany around 1510-20.

Historical context note

The reliefs of unidentified female saint and St Catherine (A.89-1927) formed probably originally part of a wing of an altarpiece.

Descriptive line

Relief, unidentified femal saint. Wood polychrome and gilt. Swabian ca. 1520.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Jopek, Nobert. German Sculpture 1430-1540: A Catalogue of the Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Publications, 2002. cat. no. 46b. p. 102.

Labels and date

St Barbara (?)
About 1520
This relief, and the other to the far left, was probably
made for the wing of an altarpiece. The saint’s left hand
may have originally rested on a tower. This would have
identified her as St Barbara, who was incarcerated in
a tower by her father to protect her from the attention
of men.
Germany, Upper Swabia
Painted and gilded limewood
Given by Henry Oppenheimer through the Art Fund
Museum no. A.90-1927 [26/11/2010]



Subjects depicted



Reliefs; Sculpture; Christianity


Sculpture Collection

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