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Monday, May 12, 2008

Saint Matthias the Apostle

Tilman Riemenschneider (ca. 1460–1531)
Saint Matthias, c. 1500–1505
Limewood; H. 104.5 cm (41 1/8 in.), W. 32 cm (12 5/8 in.), D. 19 cm (7 1/2 in.)
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Skulpturensammlung


Riemenschneider was active in Würzburg from about 1483 until 1531. He was one of the first sculptors to abandon polychromy (the application of colour to sculpture) on occasion. He made a conscious decision to leave visible his favoured material, limewood.

St Matthias was present when St. Peter called on the faithful to select an apostle to replace the traitor Judas (Acts 1:15-26). He was a witness to the Resurrection (Acts 1:21-22). He was chosen by casting lots between him and Joseph.After selection he was identified as apostle with the other eleven apostles.