Veit Stoss altarpiece in Kraków

Masterpiece of late Gothic sculptural art

In 2012, Jerzy Pajor, a prominent expert in macro-scale 2D digitizing, made a complete gigapixel documentation of the main altarpiece by Wit Stwosz and the entire interior of St. Mary’s Church on behalf of the parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Krakow.

After a decade, he returned to the church, already as Director of 2D Digitization of the Foundation for the Virtualisation of the National Heritage of Culture, to immortalize once again this magnificent work of art by Nuremberg after the renovation carried out in 2015-2021, using the latest digitization technologies.

Located in St. Mary’s Basilica, the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary altarpiece is one of the most outstanding works of late Gothic sculptural art in Europe. The Dormition of the Virgin Mary altarpiece is a pentaptych, that is, it has five wings. It consists of a central part with carved figures, one pair of movable inner wings and one pair of fixed outer wings. Both pairs of wings are decorated with bas-reliefs. The whole is complemented by a low-relief predella placed on the altar mensa and an openwork finial with a full-plastic sculpture. The iconographic program was developed by a theologian and is dedicated to the Mother of God and her role in the work of Salvation.

The predella depicts the tree of Jesse, an artistic representation of the genealogy of Christ. Above, inside the altar cabinet, there is a monumental sculptural group depicting the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary surrounded by the apostles, and above it the scene of the Assumption. The finial of the settee shows the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth.

Reliefs on the wings of the altarpiece depict scenes from the lives of Christ and Mary.

Range of activities

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