Polychrome figure 'The Tuition of the Virgin'
A polychrome, gilt & silver leaf limewood figure 'The Tuition of the Virgin' - Circle of Daniel Mauch (1477-1540)
It is likely that due to the size of this sculpture this would probably have been part of a Mariological cycle on a High altar.
The Virgin is dressed in a plain silver robe, her youth being marked by her uncovered gilt plaits.
St Anne is depicted in her traditional colours of red & green (with some evidence of quatrefoil motifs, for instance on her right knee), her age represented by her full wimple and her lined and espressive face.
Much of the polychrome surface is original although there has been some isolated retouching to St Anne's red dress and her green cloak, the wimple being most of the original surface although greyer in tone than it would have been originally (the original lead white has darkened over the years which is not uncommon).
The flesh tones of both figures are mainly preserved although the surface is slightly worn.
The style of this figure suggests an artist from a school in Ulm, possibly a sculptor from the circle of Daniel Mauch due to relatively restrained patterns of drapery which although not drowning the figure underneath, gather in long and gentle folds with rounded reversed rucks.
A similar work both in subject, condition and style by Mauch and his circle, 'Heiligge Sippe' (Holy Family) 1505-1510 can be seen in the Bayerisches National Museum and this figure also has the oxidised lead white on the wimple.
Daniel Mauch, born in 1477, probably in Ulm and he married the daughter of painter Jorg Stocker in 1502-3. He appears to have worked both in Ulm and Geislingen where he became a member of the Sebastian Brotherhood.
As was custom at the time, this work was proably painted and gilded by a separate artist with Martin Schaffner being one of Mauch's early collaborators.
Ulm Cathedral was famous for its profusion of altars and at the turn of the 16th century it had at least fifty altars, all of which were subsequently destroyed.
With the arrival of The Reformation both artists and their works were dispersed and in 1529 Mauch was obliged to request five years' leave of absence from Ulm to enable him to seek work elsewhere. He spent much of this time is Liege, where he appears to have executed many small sculptures for humanist patrons and where he also died in 1540.
This figure is in good, original condition, is structurally intact with no breakages and as with most limewood sculpture from this period there is some evidence of old worm.
Further detailed information can be emailed to you by request.