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Pré-publication, Document de travail

A pan-European art trade in the Late Middle Ages: Isotopic evidence on the Master of Rimini enigma

Abstract : The identity of artists and localisation of workshops are rarely known with certainty before the mid-15th century. We investigated the material used by one of the most prolific and enigmatic medieval sculptors, the Master of Rimini, active around 1420-40. The isotope fingerprints (Sr, S and O) of a representative corpus of masterpieces but also minor artworks, attributed to the Master of Rimini and his workshop, are virtually identical, demonstrating the unity of the corpus and a material reality behind the stylistic and iconographic ascriptions. The material used is exclusively Franconian alabaster, 600 km distant from the supposed zone of activity of the Rimini workshop according to recent literature. The same material was later used by the prominent Late Medieval German carver Tilman Riemenschneider, active in Würzburg after 1483, whose rare alabaster sculptures we were able to characterise almost in their entirety. This leads us to an alternative to the prevailing hypothesis of a Flemish or N-French workshop, founded on similarities of the Rimini sculpture with motives in Flemish and French painting. Our scenario, returning to the initial proposal of a German localisation of the Rimini production, assumes the migration of an artist, perhaps trained in the Low Countries or strongly inspired by the Flemish art, to Southern Germany where he founded a highly productive export workshop, well situated on the crossroads of medieval trade, with a pan-European radiance. This study sheds a spotlight on the on the trade networks of luxury goods and the high-end art market in Europe as well as on international migration of artists and styles, at the eve of the Renaissance.
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https://hal-brgm.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03114505
Contributeur : Wolfram Kloppmann <>
Soumis le : mardi 19 janvier 2021 - 00:12:37
Dernière modification le : mercredi 3 février 2021 - 03:29:32
Archivage à long terme le : : mardi 20 avril 2021 - 18:13:19

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  • HAL Id : hal-03114505, version 1

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BRGM | MNHN | CNRS

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Wolfram Kloppmann, Lise Leroux, Philippe Bromblet, Pierre-Yves Le Pogam, Anne-Thérèse Montech, et al.. A pan-European art trade in the Late Middle Ages: Isotopic evidence on the Master of Rimini enigma. 2021. ⟨hal-03114505⟩

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