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Copy of a Monument to Rudolph von Scherenberg - Monument to Prince-Bishop Rudolph von Scherenberg, Prince-Bishop of Würzburg
  • Monument to Prince-Bishop Rudolph von Scherenberg, Prince-Bishop of Würzburg
    Semmelmayr, Josef
  • Enlarge image

Monument to Prince-Bishop Rudolph von Scherenberg, Prince-Bishop of Würzburg

  • Object:

    Copy of a Monument to Rudolph von Scherenberg

  • Place of origin:

    Würzburg (Copy, made)
    Würzburg (Original, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1906 (made)
    1496-1498 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Semmelmayr, Josef (caster)
    Riemenschneider, Tilman (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted plaster cast

  • Museum number:

    REPRO.1906-1

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Rudolph von Scherenberg was Prince-Bishop of Würzburg from 1466 until his death over 30 years later. His successor commissioned the leading sculptor of the time, Tilman Riemenschneider, to make a monument to him, which this cast reproduces. The original effigy was carved in red Salzburg marble, and its canopy and base in sandstone. Six coats of arms belonging to the Prince-Bishop and his family identify the figure.

Physical description

Plaster cast of Monument of Rudolph von Scherenberg bought from Josef Semmelmayr, Würzburg in 1906, depicting an effigy of Rudolph von Scherenberg, Prince-Bishop of Würzburg.

Place of Origin

Würzburg (Copy, made)
Würzburg (Original, made)

Date

ca. 1906 (made)
1496-1498 (made)

Artist/maker

Semmelmayr, Josef (caster)
Riemenschneider, Tilman (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Painted plaster cast

Dimensions

Width: 158 cm

Object history note

Plaster cast of a Monument to Rudolph von Scherenberg purchased from Josef Semmelmayr in 1906 for £39 3s 7d (800 marks). The cast depicts an effigy of Rudolph von Scherenberg, Prince-Bishop of Würzburg, which was sculpted by Tilman Riemenschneider in Würzburg about 1496–98 and commissioned by the sucessor of Rudolph von Scherenberg.

Historical context note

Making plaster copies is a centuries-old tradition that reached the height of its popularity during the 19th century. The V&A's casts are of large-scale architectural and sculptural works as well as small scale, jewelled book covers and ivory plaques, these last known as fictile ivories.

The Museum commissioned casts directly from makers and acquired others in exchange. Oronzio Lelli, of Florence was a key overseas supplier while, in London, Giovanni Franchi and Domenico Brucciani upheld a strong Italian tradition as highly-skilled mould-makers, or formatori.

Some casts are highly accurate depictions of original works, whilst others are more selective, replicating the outer surface of the original work, rather than its whole structure. Like a photograph, they record the moment the cast was taken: alterations, repairs and the wear and tear of age are all reproduced in the copies. The plasters can also be re-worked, so that their appearance differs slightly from the original from which they were taken.

To make a plaster cast, a negative mould has to be taken of the original object. The initial mould could be made from one of several ways. A flexible mould could be made by mixing wax with gutta-percha, a rubbery latex product taken from tropical trees. These two substances formed a mould that had a slightly elastic quality, so that it could easily be removed from the original object. Moulds were also made from gelatine, plaster or clay, and could then be used to create a plaster mould to use for casting.
When mixed with water, plaster can be poured into a prepared mould, allowed to set, and can be removed to produce a finished solid form. The moulds are coated with a separating or paring agent to prevent the newly poured plaster sticking to them. The smooth liquid state and slight expansion while setting allowed the quick drying plaster to infill even the most intricate contours of a mould.
Flatter, smaller objects in low relief usually require only one mould to cast the object. For more complex objects, with a raised surface, the mould would have to be made from a number of sections, known as piece-moulds. These pieces are held together in the so-called mother-mould, in order to create a mould of the whole object. Once the object has been cast from this mother-mould, the piece-moulds can be easily removed one by one, to create a cast of the three-dimensional object.

Descriptive line

Plaster cast of a Monument to Rudolph von Scherenberg bought from Josef Semmelmayr in 1906. The cast depicts an effigy of Rudolph von Scherenberg, Prince-Bishop of Würzburg. The original was made by Tilman Riemenschneider in Würzburg, about 1496–98.

Labels and date

4. Cast of
Tilman Riemenschneider (about 1460–1531)
Monument to Rudolph von Scherenberg
About 1496–98

Rudolph von Scherenberg was Prince-Bishop of Würzburg from 1466 until his death over 30 years later. His successor commissioned the leading sculptor of the time, Tilman Riemenschneider, to make a monument to him, which this cast reproduces. The original effigy was carved in red Salzburg marble, and its canopy and base in sandstone. Six coats of arms belonging to the Prince-Bishop and his family identify the figure.

Cast
Painted plaster
Germany
Bought from Josef Semmelmayr,
Würzburg in 1906
Museum no. Repro.1906-1

Original
Marble and sandstone, partly gilded and painted
Würzburg
Cathedral of Würzburg

Conservation supported by
The Aurelius Charitable Trust [04/07/2018]
Rudolph von Scherenberg was Prince-Bishop of Würzburg from 1466 until his death over 30 years later at the age of 94. His successor commissioned the great Franconian sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider to make his monument. The effigy of the bishop was carved in red Salzburg marble, and the canopy and base of sandstone. Six coats of arms are placed around the figure. The plaster, a masterpiece of casting, was acquired by the Museum relatively late, in 1906, indicating the continuing taste for reproductions.

Holly Trusted []

Materials

Plaster; Paint

Techniques

Casting; Painting

Subjects depicted

Throne canopy; Portraits; Angels; Monuments

Categories

Ph_survey; Sculpture; Christianity; Portraits; Plaster Cast; Copies; Cast Courts

Production Type

Copy

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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