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The Sculpture in the Middle Ages

Janson notes: "His was a voice not very much heeded, however; for the unsophisticated layman, any large piece of sculpture inevitably had something of the quality of an idol, and it was this very fact that gave it such great appeal" (p. 289).

Vyverberg (1978) notes that during the late medieval period, sculpture was primarily an expression of religious feeling and was viewed as an accessory to Christian piety. It generally remained in close physical and aesthetic association with an architectural setting: "Increasingly, however, it became emancipated, at least in spirit, from the walls and columns of the churches and began to be treated as separate and individual works of art. In the process, these works ceased to function as part of a general panorama and began to receive more detailed treatment" (p. 65). Altarpieces and altar figures were now given more attention than the works that formed their background. Individual pieces were more in demand and were placed in private chapels and homes. Works were still often very much linked to architecture, but even then late Gothic sculpture maintained its formal independence. Vyverberg cites the two column figures from Cologne, The Virgin and Christ: "Their elegance echoes the rather previous mannerism of the countless carved madonnas of this era that were destined for church and home, and contrasts emphatically with the sole


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