Unesco World Heritage Site

Maulbronn Monastery

Crucifix in the monastery church at Maulbronn Monastery. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Günther Bayerl
MEDIEVAL ART OF SCULPTING

THE MAULBRONN

CRUCIFIX

The larger-than-life stone crucifix in front of the choir screen is an important late Gothic work of art at Maulbronn. The masterpiece is carved from a single block of stone. The suffering figure of Christ and the cross have both been carved very realistically.

Maulbronn Monastery, view of crucifix and painted net vault in the monastery church. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

This highly detailed piece has been carved from a single block of stone.

A MASTER OF REPRESENTATION

On the back, the artist has dated and signed his work, "1473" and "CVS". The initials are attributed to master mason Conrad von Sinsheim. The artist has managed to realistically portray Christ's skin as well as the wooden surface of the cross, which constitutes a completely new representational style. In particular, it is most impressive that the entire crucifix has been carved out of a single block and yet Christ's delicate body appears to actually be nailed to the cross.

Maulbronn Monastery, founders grave. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff

The founders grave was moved to the monastery church.

AN IMPRESSIVE TOMB FOR THE MONASTERY'S FOUNDER

In the space now occupied by the crucifix, monastery founder, Walter von Lomersheim, was given a new grave in the 15th century. He had entered Maulbronn Monastery as a laic and had been previously buried in the lay cemetery south of the church. The keystones in the vault above the crucifix show a pelican to the north, a lion at the center, and Christ as Man of Sorrows to the south.

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