Verdun altarpiece

Image … ar_(2).JPG

The Verdun altarpiece at Klosterneuburg was created by Nicholas of Verdun in 1181.

The Verdun Altar is located at the Klosterneuburg Monastery in Austria.[4] It was made in c.1181 and it is named after Nicholas of Verdun. Its composition contains detailed decorative panels which depict biblical scenes. The work is divided into 3 compartments that are comprised out of 45 copper squares. It is also split into 3 rows due to biblical reference and we have the central theme being the life of Jesus while the adjacent sides illustrate the life of Adam and Noah or David and the Babylonian captivity. The Medium used for this work is called champlevé enamel work where a metal base with compartments is filled with enamel. The program is set up according to biblical scenes and is considered to be the most important surviving work done with ambitious effort for something that was made in the 12th century. There is a transition of early Romanesque to a more classical handling according to the way the work was treated.

Around 1200 AD, Europe was started to be influenced by Byzantine art.

Around the year 1200, a new awareness in northern Europe of Byzantine art, coinciding with a revival of interest in classical art, led to the emergence of a highly classicizing style of figural representation in stone sculpture, metalwork and manuscript illumination. Nicholas of Verdun was a leading practitioner of this short-lived proto-Renaissance as seen in the enameled plaques of the Klosterneuburg Altar and the Three Kings Shrine in Cologne Cathedral.

In one of the panels, Jesus is depicted similarly to depictions in Byzantine art – crossed hands over the groin, right hand over left, no thumb, Jesus in a box.