CIRCLE OF HANS BRÜGGEMANN (1480-CA. 1540)
NORTHERN GERMAN, LOWER RHINE, CIRCA 1530
FIGURE OF A HENCHMAN
with a descriptive printed label inscribed in German to the underside
Overall the condition of the figure is good, with wear and some dirt to the surface consistent with age. A lacquer has been applied to the wood, resulting in a darker surface. It is possible that the figure has been cut down from a larger ensemble. There is a loss to the bottom edge at the front and a few minor losses, notably to the whip and to the proper right sleeve. There is minor stable splitting to the wood consistent with the material.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
With Reinhold Hofstätter, Vienna
The present figure, which was probably part of a flagellation group, shows a henchman of Pilate binding together the strands for a whip to be used on Christ. In the flagellation relief of the Bordesholmer Altar by Brüggemann, a figure in a similar act can be observed. Other figures on the same altarpiece share the distorted and slightly grotesque faces of the present lot. Lower Rhenish sculpture of this era, on the edge of the Reformation, started paying more attention to the secular side of sculpture: the grimaces and twisted faces can also be seen in work by Henrick Douwerman. Both sculptors started using a simple lacquer, rather than full polychromy, on their sculptures, in order to enhance the plasticity of their objects.
F. Haye Hamkens, Der Bordesholmer Altar Meister Brüggemanns : 48 Bildtafeln, Frankfurt, 1969, no. 26; Gegen den Strom: Meisterwerke niederrheinischer Skulptur in Zeiten der Reformation, 1500-1550, exh. cat. Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum, Aachen, 1996, nos. 13, 26