Hl. Dorothea
Hl. Dorothea - 1
Hl. Dorothea - 2

St Dorothy

Ulrich Bruder, Basle, ca. 1500
Limewood, originally painted in polychrome
height 78.5 cm
Inv. 1919.488.

Resolution:
5484px x 7320px
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According to legend the Roman virgin Dorothea refused to marry the city prefect Fabricius, as she claimed to be the bride of Christ. At her execution - Dorothy was boiled, beaten, burnt and decapitated - a heavenly messenger arrived with a basket filled with apples and roses even though it was winter, thus confounding the clerk of the tribunal who had mockingly asked the accused to send flowers from the garden of her groom. This Late Gothic wooden St Dorothy is a rare example showing her accompanied by a little boy. His appearance is particularly interesting since he has been copied from an engraving made by the Upper Rhine Master E.S., the New Year's greeting with Christchild. After the mid C15 engravings from the Upper Rhine area contributed greatly to the circulation of new iconography, often of single motifs, as in this case. With a provenance from Arlesheim, the figure is attributable to a Basle master craftsman of repute, namely the cabinetmaker Ulrich Bruder from Otwyl on Lake Constance, who signed the choir stalls of the church of St Peter in Basle in 1494.

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