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The Censer

A work made of engraving on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving on cream laid paper.




Martin Schongauer
German, c. 1430/50-1491

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.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Martin Schongauer


The Censer


Germany (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Artist's working dates 1450–1491


Engraving on cream laid paper


Image: 25.8 × 20.7 cm (10 3/16 × 8 3/16 in.); Sheet, trimmed within plate: 30.2 × 20.7 cm (11 15/16 × 8 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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