One of the most important of Frankish sculptors, b. at Osterode am Harz in or after 1460; d. at Würzburg, 1531. In 1483 he was admitted into the Guild of St. Luke at Würzburg, where he worked until his death. In the tombstone of the Ritter von Grumbach he still adheres to the Gothic style, but in his works for the Marienkapelle at Würzburg he adopts the Renaissance style, while retaining reminiscences of earlier art. For the south entrance he carved, besides an annunciation and a representation of Christ as a gardener, the afterwards renowned statues of Adam and Eve, the heads of which are of special importance. There also he showed his gift of depicting character in the more than life-size statues of Christ, the Baptist, and the Twelve Apostles for the buttresses. Elsewhere indeed we seek in vain for the merits of rounded sculpture. He had a special talent for the noble representation of female saints (cf. for example, Sts. Dorothea and Margareta in the same chapel, and the Madonna in the Münsterkirche). A small Madonna (now in the municipal museum at Frankfort ) is perfect both in expression and drapery. Besides other works for the above-mentioned churches and a relief with the "Vierzehn Nothelfer" for the hospital (St. Burkhard), he carved for the cathedral of Würzburg a tabernacle reaching to the ceiling, two episcopal tombs, and a colossal cross--all recognized as excellent works by those familiar with the peculiar style of the master. Riemenschneider's masterpiece is the tomb of Emperor Henry II in the Cathedral of Bamberg ; the recumbent forms of the emperor and his spouse are ideal, while the sides of the tomb are adorned with fine scenes from their lives. The figures instinct with life, the drapery, and the expression of sentiment, are all of equal beauty. Among his representations of the "Lament over Christ", those of Heidingsfeld and Maidbrunn, in spite of some defects, are notable works; resembling the former, but still more pleasing, is a third in the university collection. The defects in many of his works are probably to be referred for the most part to his numerous apprentices. There are a great number of other works by him in various places, e.g. a beautiful group of the Crucifixion in the Darmstadt Museum, another at Volkach am Main representing Our Lady surrounded by a rosary with scenes from her life in relief and being crowned by angels playing music--the picture is suspended from the roof.
There is a second Meister Tillmann Riemenschneider, who carved the Virgin's altar in Creglingen. This bears so close a resemblance to the works of the younger "Master Dill", that recently many believed it should be referred to him; in that case, however, he would have executed one of his best works as a very young man.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online