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Master Paul

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Master Pavol of Levoca - Detail of the altar HrabusiceMaster Pavol of Levoca (born approximately in 1470-80 and died in 1537-42), a wood-carver, was one of the greatest artists in Slovakia in the Middle Ages. He was the head of a school of wood-carving and probably painting.
Master Pavol achieved exceptional uniqueness in his work - great culture in his form, the aesthetic expression of the post-Gothic shape, harmony between convention and reality, and the expression of the strong inner life of figures. His works in Banská Bystrica, Okoličné, Bardejov, Prešov, etc., give evidence of his ingeniousness. His most famous masterpiece is the high altar of the Church of St. Jacob at Levoča. By its height of 18.6m and width of 6m, it is the highest winged Gothic altar in the world.
The altar was made in stages with the participation of co-creators and associates in 1508-17. Master Pavol made three sculptures in an altar cabinet and the composition of the Lord's Supper (1508-15) in a dividing line. He also designed the composition of the altar.
The works from Master Pavol's wood-carving workshop had a uniform character. Among them belong the main altar in Hrabušice, the sculptures of Jacob and John Evangelist in a church in Sabinov, the Crucifix in Spišská Nová Ves, the sculpture of Magdalene from Stratená, etc. His work gave impulse to the establishment of a large school of creative art, which is proved by the altars, sculptures and statuaries in the Spiš, Gemer and Liptov areas.
Jewels of European culture and great universal values were created in Slovakia. Master Pavol of Levoča belongs among the leading personalities of world culture.

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Church of St. Egidius in Ilija - Romanesque portal - detail