Nikolaus Gerhaert

Nikolaus Gerhaert
Man Meditating (Buste d'homme accoudé), an apparent self-portrait, c. 1467

Nikolaus Gerhaert (c. 1420 – 1473), also known as Nikolaus Gerhaert von Leyden, was a sculptor of Dutch origin, although aside from his sculptures, few details are known of his life.



Gerhaert is considered the most influential northern European sculptor of the 15th century. He was born in Leiden, Holland (present day Netherlands) sometime around 1420. Based on the location of his work, we know he spent most his working life in the Germanic areas of Trier, Straßburg, Baden, Konstanz, and Vienna. Much of his documented work is lost to history, but what has survived is characterized by elaborate drapery and extreme physical realism, both extraordinarily vivid and unconventional. His specialties were tombs, altarpieces and other religious pieces. Sandstone and limestone are among his most frequent mediums.

One of his most well known works currently resides in the Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame in Strasbourg (Alsace, present day France). Called the Buste d'homme accoudé (1467), it is an indisputed masterpiece, and is believed to be a self-portrait. Gerhaert died on 28 June 1473[1] in Wiener Neustadt (present day Austria).


See also


  1. ^ Renate Kohn, 'Eine bisher unbekannte Grabinschrift des Niclas Gerhaert von Leyden', Wiener Geschichtsblätter 48 (Vienna 1993), pp. 164-70.
  2. ^ Standing Virgin and Child, picture and commentary from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is one of only eight works in wood attributed to Nikolaus.

External links

Media related to Nicolaus Gerhaert van Leyden at Wikimedia Commons