“St. Wolfgang”

Around 1420
Cast stone
Original, polychrome version
Height 44 cm

Highly museum small sculpture in soft style around 1400. Probably the most charming sculptures of the Beautiful Style were created in Bohemia and Salzburg. This was also illustrated by the exhibition on Madonnas of the Beautiful Style at the Gothic Museum Leogang in 2019 where loans from the Prague National Gallery and Salzburg masterpieces were shown together. The figure presented here of St. Wolfgang shows in an impressive way the artistic expressiveness of this epoch. In the double S line, the saint stands on parts of the mantle drapery converging under the shoes. The left hip widely flared. In the cotrapost, the wide mantle descends in rich cascades of tubular folds to his right. These are created by the bent hand of Wolfgang in which he carries the church. He raised his left hand in salute.

The Beautiful Style, or International Style was prevalent throughout Europe around 1400. In both sculpture and painting, this Soft Style, as it is still called, was stylistically influential in the formal language of the visual arts. From France, he conquered all of Europe. Large centers such as Cologne, Prague, or Salzburg with its close trade connections to Bohemia emerged. The most commonly used materials were stone and the not-so-durable wood. In areas where there was no suitable stone for processing, the so-called cast stone was produced. Blocks were cast from stone powder and lime which were then worked on by the sculptors. After all, there is no difference in terms of material. The cathedral builders of Europe still work in this 1000 year old tradition. Where also sculptures in stone casting were and are produced. The difference from the cast stone is that the mass was poured into a mold. Whether this type of production was also common in the Middle Ages or only arose through the restorations of modern times is unknown to this day. The theory tends more towards the cast stone variant as the only method. For nowhere has a mold for a cast figure been found or preserved to this day.