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Master Paul


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
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
Jewels of European culture and great universal
values were created in Slovakia. Master Pavol of Levoča belongs among the
leading personalities of world culture.