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Sylvester and Constantine Screen (1), c. 1332-49

Photo: © Dombauhütte Köln, Matz und Schenk

In Cologne Cathedral, the back wall of the choir stalls is not made of carved wood, but of flat painted masonry screens or panels. The paintings on these screens are dedicated to saints associated with the cathedral. The seven scenes depicted in each screen are framed by painted tracery arcades with richly decorated baldachins that are partially in perspective. Each scene corresponds to the width of a seat in the stalls. The screen on the south side of the choir stalls is decorated with a cycle of Roman Emperors while the screen on the north side is decorated with images of bishops and archbishops of Cologne. This cycle ends with the image of Walram of Jülich (1332–1349), to whose period of office these paintings have been dated. It is not possible to identify the Cologne workshop that was commissioned with the painting of these screens. However, the paintings do combine in a most unique way elements of contemporary French illumination, elements influenced by Italian, English, and Bohemian art, and traditional elements. The painted choir stall screens, which are considered to be the ‘most artistically outstanding work of German monumental painting from the first half of the fourteenth century’ therefore constitute the start of the Cologne school of painting.

 

 

In Cologne Cathedral, the back wall of the choir stalls is not made of carved wood, but of flat painted masonry screens or panels. The paintings on these screens are dedicated to saints associated with the cathedral. The seven scenes depicted in each screen are framed by painted tracery arcades with richly decorated baldachins that are partially in perspective. Each scene corresponds to the width of a seat in the stalls. The screen on the south side of the choir stalls is decorated with a cycle of Roman Emperors while the screen on the north side is decorated with images of bishops and archbishops of Cologne. This cycle ends with the image of Walram of Jülich (1332–1349), to whose period of office these paintings have been dated. It is not possible to identify the Cologne workshop that was commissioned with the painting of these screens. However, the paintings do combine in a most unique way elements of contemporary French illumination, elements influenced by Italian, English, and Bohemian art, and traditional elements. The painted choir stall screens, which are considered to be the ‘most artistically outstanding work of German monumental painting from the first half of the fourteenth century’ therefore constitute the start of the Cologne school of painting.

Kulturstiftung Kölner Dom Das Generationenprojekt 11.000 Sterne für den Kölner Dom ZENTRAL-DOMBAU-VEREIN ZU KÖLN VON 1842 DOMKLOSTER 4