Lute-playing Angel

Lute-playing Angel

made shortly after 1503

Black Forest balsalm fir with polychromy

Overall: 75 cm (29 1/2 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Severance A. Millikin 1959.340


This sculpture was originally placed at the top of the altarpiece of the high altar in the church at Nieder Lana, near Meran, in the South Tyrol (now part of present-day North Italy). The sculptor had contracted in 1503 to complete this altar within eight years for the payment of 1,600 gilders. Hans Schnatterpeck was originally from Landsberg am Lech in Bavaria. By 1478-79 he had settled in Meran where he operated the leading workshop in the area. This angel is a surviving element from his most famous work, the largest Gothic altarpiece of the Alpine region. Other elements survive in various public and private collections.

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