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Madonna on the Crescent Moon

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Tilmann Riemenschneider 1503/05Würzburglime woodH 139 cm

In the Middle Ages no holy figure was revered more than the Virgin Mary. She was adored as the Mother of Christ and served as an example of devout belief, as the goddess of heaven and as the mighty advocate at the Last Judgement. Every church had at least one representation of the Madonna. Tilman Riemenschneider depicted her on a crescent moon - a mode of representation which was popular in the late Gothic period, harking back to the portrayal of the “apocalyptic woman” by St. John the Evangelist (Rev 12,1). The intricate arrangement of the pleats, which lends the figure depth and vividness, and her tender melancholic expression are characteristic for this famous wood carver and sculptor from Würzburg.