In the present figure, probably a Mary from a Lamentation group, the sculptor used horizontal folds in the veil which flutter in the air. The figure’s dress is bunched up around the waist while other folds coil and bend around her arms. Her upheld mantle creates a cascade of lightly creased folds that extend downwards before landing at her feet and in an elaborate coil near her left knee.
Similar drapery schemes can be found in the area around today’s German-Swiss border, known as Upper Swabia. The most influential Gothic workshops in this area were based in Ulm and their stylistic accomplishments were emulated by sculptors in other regions and at times improved upon by creating bolder, more animated forms. Similar fluttering headdresses can be found on the central figure of Mary in the relief with the scenes from her life by the Master HSR, active in Basel (see Petrasch, op.cit., no. 168) and Hans Geiler’s Mary Magdalen in the St Anna chapel in Freiburg illustrated in Gasser et al. (op.cit., no. 122). The latter also employs the crumpled cascading folds in his St Catherine from the same group and is responsible for the coiled flap on a figure of St Andrew, similar to the coil at the knee of the present figure (op.cit. no. 123). However, the lightness and movement seen in the present figure, exceeds these comparisons.
K. Gröber, Schwäbische Skulptur der Spätgotik, Munich, 1922; T. Müller, Die Bildwerke in Holz, Ton und Stein von der Mitte des XV. Bis gegen Mitte des XVI. Jahrhunderts, cat. Bayerischen Nationalmuseums, Munich, 1959, p. 72, no. 62; E. Petrasch, Spätgotik am Oberrhein. Meisterwerke der Plastik und des Kunsthandwerks 1450-1530, exhib. cat. Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe, 1970, p. 209, no. 168, fig. 149; S. Gasser et al., Die Freiburger Skulptur des 16. Jahrhundert, Petersberg, 2011, pp. 246-255, nos. 122-123
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