About This Artwork

Georg Lemberger (German, 1495-1540)
published by Melchior Lotter II (German, d. 1542)

St. Matthew, from The Luther Bible, 1523

Woodcut in black on ivory laid paper
145 x 95 mm (primary support); 230 x 180 mm (secondary support)

Stanley Field Fund, 1969.30

Lemberger studied with Albrecht Altdorfer, a prominent member of the Danube School; this proof impression of a book illustration from the first part of Martin Luther’s German translation of the New Testament adheres to the school’s style of wild and twisted trees, dramatic effects of sunlight, and visionary clouds. The saint’s bright halo hovers above his head as he studiously inscribes his gospel in a large tome while an attendant angel emerges from the cloudburst. And yet the natural details beloved by the Danube School—such as a canopy of weeping willow fronds and the distant landscape—are as equally inspiring.




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