Artibus et Historiae no. 9 (V)

1984, ISSN 0391-9064

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ADAM S. LABUDA - On Text and Pictures in the Late Middle Ages from the Example of the Altar of St. Barbara in Wrocław (1447)

This article brings up the question of the relationship between pictorial and literary traditions from the example of the cycle on the altar in Wrocław (1447) depicting St. Barbara's life on earth as well as her going to heaven. How the pictorial legend existed on its own, as well as how the literary impulse influenced the tradition of the visual language of the picture - this is the general framework the detailed analysis works within. The legend found on the altar in Wrocław mainly comes from one no longer alive today and originating at the turn of the 14th to the 15th centuries from the Franco-Flemish legend of St. Barbara, which also influenced the form of the altars of Master Francke and of Gonzalo Perez. The creator of the altar in Wrocław who came to Silesia from the Upper Rheinland in this cycle made fragmentary modification at different levels of pictorial representations and these were dictated by reading the legends from the literature, among others the legends in manuscripts which, at the start of the 15th century, were in the Dominican Cloister in Wrocław.

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