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 Claus Berg

 

 

Claus Berg    


(b Lubeck, c. 1470/80; d Lübeck, 1532–5).

German sculptor. After an apprenticeship in south Germany, probably close to the workshop of Veit Stoss, in 1504–5 he was invited to Odense by Christina of Saxony, Queen of Denmark (1461–1521). Among her commissions was a high altar (1517–22; ex-Franciscan Church, Odense; Odense, St Canute), Berg’s main work, in which he combined the Tree of Life (Crucifixion), All Saints, the Passion of Christ and the Veneration of the Virgin. He also carved altarpieces for the churches in Århus, Vejlby and Bregninge, among others, as well as crucifixes and figures of saints, and he is attributed with tomb slabs, pulpits, epitaphs and choir-stalls. When Berg left Denmark in 1532, probably for religious reasons, he went to Mecklenburg. In this period he carved a series of eleven figures of the Apostles (Güstrow Cathedral) in oak (the twelfth, St John, had been carved before 1500 by another artist). Their drapery recalls the style of Veit Stoss, but the energetic movements of the figures (determined by the edged surfaces of the oak) show Berg to have been a sculptor representing the essence of the Baltic Late-Gothic style on the eve of the Reformation. It was as vigorous as the work of Veit Stoss in south Germany, and, on the basis of a common iconography, Berg produced powerful figures. He also executed altars (Wittstock; Zehna near Güstrow; Lanken near Lübz) and single figures (Hohen Viecheln; Kraak, St Florian).

 

 


Odense Cathedral main altar

 

 


Odense Cathedral main altar

 
 

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