Thematic focus

Vom Ambo zum Retabel – Das Klosterneuburger Goldschmiedewerk von Nikolaus von Verdun

Heike Schlie

Published online:

01 Jul 2017

Abstract

Abstract

The only signed work by Nicholas of Verdun, the metalwork which adorned the former ambo in the Klosterneuburg Monastery, was integrated into a foldable altarpiece around 1330 and thus transformed into a new medium. Besides being reframed, it was combined with new monumental paintings on the rear side of the triptych. It was not only handled differently and defined spatially in completely different terms, but the precious enamel- and metalwork could be hidden from sight by closing the wings. The added plates of metalwork at the center of the middle panel break up the hieratical and Eucharistic program of the original work, focusing the program on devotional affects. The metalwork and paintings form a sophisticated iconic reference system, pointing to the provost Stephan of Sierndorf, who had ordered the reframing. His painted figure, kneeling before the crucified Christ, reveals itself not only as the image of the donor, but also as the ideal beholder of the work or a further exemplum of perfect piety.

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