Geschnitzte Lindenholz-Statuette "Stehendes Tödlein"; der Tod als Bogenschütze in Gestalt eines halbverwesten, skelettierten Leichnams

Historischer Verein Neuburg an der Donau


Amongst the masterpieces in the Historischer Verein Neuburg an der Donau's (Historical Association Neuburg on the Danube) Graßegger collection is the intricately carved limewood figure of Death from c. 1630, which is just 17 cm tall. This small work of art comes from the ducal collections at Schloss Neuburg (Neuburg Castle), where it featured in one of the cabinets of curiosities that were so popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. The depiction of Death as a semi-skeletal archer illustrates the terrors of the Thirty Years' War. The Neuburg "Death" is attributed to the famous sculptor Georg Petel (1601/02 - 1634), who was born in Weilheim and trained in Munich, Antwerp, Paris, Rome and Genoa before setting up business in the free imperial city of Augsburg in 1625. Petel worked closely with the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640) and produced superb works in wood, ivory and bronze for the Church and the nobility. He died in Augsburg of the plague aged just 33. The 1894 catalogue of the Graßegger collection features the work as "Holzfigürchen, den Tod als Bogenschütze darstellend. 17. Jhdt." (Small wooden sculpture depicting Death as an archer, 17th century) and numbered 243. This is the first record of this gem in the collection of the Historischer Verein.


Dr. Margit Vonhof-Habermayr, Historischer Verein Neuburg an der Donau

Rights Statement Description