German Sculpture - 13th Century; Nuremburg Schools.
In the 13th century German sculpture had made considerable artistic progress, but it did not reach the high standard of France. One of the best examples is the "golden gate" of Freiburg cathedral, with sculptured figures on the jambs after the French fashion. The statues of the apostles on the nave pillars, and especially one of the Madonna at the east end (1260-70), possess great beauty and sculpturesque breadth. The statues both inside and outside Bamberg cathedral, of the middle of the 13th century, are nobly designed; and an equestrian statue of Conrad III. in the market-place at Bamberg, supported by a foliated corbel, exhibits startling vigour and originality, and is designed with wonderful largeness of effect, though small in scale. The statues of Henry the Lion and Queen Matilda at Brunswick, of about the same period, are of the highest beauty and dignity of expression. Strasburg cathedral, though sadly damaged by restoration, still possesses a large quantity of the finest sculpture of the 13th century. One tympanum relief of the Death of the Virgin, surrounded by the sorrowing Apostles, is a work of the very highest beauty, worthy to rank with the best Italian sculpture of even a later period. Of its class nothing can surpass the purely decorative carving at Stras-burg, with varied realistic foliage studied from nature, evidently with the keenest interest and enjoyment.
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