About this artwork
Although best known now for his engravings, Martin Schongauer was initially a goldsmith as well as a painter. The extraordinary detail of his early Censer suggests either a design for a planned commission, or a close replica of an existing one. Censers were ornate sculptured objects used in Catholic churches to distribute clouds of incense during Mass by swinging them back and forth on long chains. This one is covered with a heavenly host and boasts numerous openwork areas to allow the clouds of smoke to emerge.
- Martin Schongauer
- The Censer
- Engraving on cream laid paper
- 258 x 207 mm (image); 302 x 207 mm (sheet, trimmed within plate)
- Gift of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.