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circle of Master of Elsloo
Oak with traces of paint
Overall: 70.8 x 27 cm (27 7/8 x 10 5/8 in.)
Gift of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 1938.169
Traces of paint found on this sculpture suggest that at one point it was painted.
Apostle figures such as this were made in large numbers in the eastern Netherlands during the early 1500s. This figure of Saint Andrew, identified by his X-shaped cross, was undoubtedly a single figure from an apostle series. It may have been used above a choir stall in a church, or else part of an apostelbalk, a wooden beam with a figure of Christ at the center. These beams were mounted high above the interior of the church to separate the nave (used by lay people) from the sanctuary, accessible only to the clergy. The artist is named after a multi-colored group of Saint Anne with the Virgin and Child, now in the Augustinuskerk in Elsloo, the Netherlands. The sculptor is probably Jan van Oel, who was working in and around Roermond in about 1500-1520. Most of the sculptures attributed to this master are in churches in Belgium and Dutch Limburg and in the neighboring German region.
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