Tuesday, December 4, 2018

01 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - December 4, is St. Barbara's day, With Footnotes - 136

Wilhelm Kalteysen  (1420–1496)
Detail St. Barbara, Execution, c. 1447
Tempera and gold on spruce wood
Height: 203 cm (79.9 ″); Width: 260 cm (102.3 ″)
National Museum in Warsaw

Saint Barbara is a former Christian saint and virgin martyr believed to have lived in Asia Minor in the 3rd century. Accounts place her in the 3rd century in Heliopolis of Syria, present-day Baalbek, Lebanon. Saint Barbara is often portrayed with miniature chains and a tower.

Her story dates to the 7th century and is retold in the Golden Legend. It is as follows: Dioscurus, the father of Barbara, was a heartless nobleman who had a tower built so that he could lock his daughter away to deter suitors. At first the tower only had two windows; however, Barbara persuaded the workmen to add a third when her father wasn't looking. She also secretly admitted a priest disguised as a doctor, who baptized her to become Christian. When her father returned, Barbara declared that the three windows symbolized the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost who ignited her soul. Dioscurus grew enraged and chased his daughter who had fled the tower. 

Wilhelm Kalteysen  (1420–1496)
Detail St. Barbara, fleeing the tower, c. 1447
Tempera and gold on spruce wood
Height: 203 cm (79.9 ″); Width: 260 cm (102.3 ″)
National Museum in Warsaw

She hid in the crevice of a rock; however, a shepherd told her father of her hiding place. Once found, Barbara was dragged out by the hair and beaten by her father who next handed her over to the Roman authorities. She refused to renounce her Christian beliefs and was tortured. Miraculously, at the moment of her execution by her father's sword, he was struck by lightning, his body devoured by fire. More on Saint Barbara

Wilhelm Kalteysen  (1420–1496)
St. Barbara Altarpiece, c. 1447
Tempera and gold on spruce wood
Height: 203 cm (79.9 ″); Width: 260 cm (102.3 ″)
National Museum in Warsaw

Wilhelm Kalteysen from Aachen (around 1420, died after 1496) - painting master in Wrocław .

Educated probably in Aachen , Cologne and the Netherlands . Perhaps he was in Nuremberg , where he could get acquainted with the work of the Master of the Tucher Altar. In 1447 he made the Altar of Saint Barbara . In the years 1451-1453 / 54 together with helpers he painted the main altar for the church of St. Jacob in Nysa . In the years 1464-1466 he decorated the organs of the Augustian church in Kłodzko. His granddaughter Justyna was the wife of a painter and sculptor Jakob Beinhard the elder .


The works of Wilhelm Kalteysen introduced the style of Dutch realism in Silesia. More on Wilhelm Kalteysen 




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