Saint Judok or Saint James
Landshut, c. 1520/1525
Lime wood, traces of polychromy
H. 195 cm
Acquired from the collection of Georg Schuster, Munich, in 1915
Inv. No. 15/114
The figure most likely came from the main altar of the Jodokus Church in Landshut, Lower Bavaria, where Hans Leinberger had his workshop. The Bayerisches Nationalmuseum houses the most prominent collection of works by the sculptor. The innovations and conceptual brilliance for which this artist stands only become apparent when viewing the originals in person. Carved from half a lime tree trunk, Leinberger created a work of tremendous spatial effect and awe-inspiring expressivity. All energy seems to radiate from the book on the saint's knees. The book's pages are seemingly in motion and St James' hands and the folds of his robe are rendered in such virtuoso manner that the figure almost comes to life.