Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

  • Tilman Riemenschneider
    circa 1460–1531
    born: Heiligenstadt, Electorate of Mainz (present-day Germany) ; died: Würzburg, Bishopric of Würzburg (present-day Germany)
  • Bishop, circa 1500–1510
  • Where object was made: Germany
  • linden wood
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 129.8 x 38.7 x 21 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 51 1/8 x 15 1/4 x 8 1/4 in
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hugo Emmerich
  • On view: Stewart Gallery, 406, S4
  • 1959.0069
Label Text

This bishop appears to step or sway forward, his left knee punching dramatically into his robes. This movement, heightened by the forward reach of the arms, conveys a sense of immediacy in the figure’s address to the viewer, which contrasts with an introverted contemplative quality, created, above all, by the head type. The face of the bishop has large, almond-shaped eyes angled slightly downward under sharp, craggy brows; sucked-in cheeks with sagging skin at the edges of the nose and mouth; and a full lower lip with downturned corners. The folds of the drapery are crumpled and are in right-angle folds. The folds are repeated concentric curves in the front of the mantle.