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Life of PETER THE ELDER DELL


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  German sculptor, the leading sculptor in Wrzburg during the second quarter of the 16th century. He was documented as a pupil of Tilmann Riemenschneider sometime between 1505 and 1510. His style owes more, however, to the powerful monumentality of Hans Leinberger, who probably employed him as an apprentice in Landshut around 1515. Before returning to Wrzburg in 1534, Dell probably worked in Regensburg (c. 1520-21), the Lower Main River area (1520s) and Freiberg, Saxony (1528-33). While in Freiberg, he carved at least four limewood reliefs, of the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Holy Teaching (all Dresden, Grnes Gewlbe) and the Fall of the Rebel Angels (untraced), for Henry, Duke of Saxony. Other religious reliefs by Dell are in Berlin, Nuremberg and Stuttgart.
  Dell was also an important portrait sculptor; his small wooden portrait reliefs include Wolfhart von Werensdorff (1528; private collection), the allegorical two-sided plaquette of Jakob Woler (1529; Munich) and the pearwood portrait of Georg Knaurer (1537; private collection). In contrast to these, he also carved many large stone funerary monuments, armorials and free-standing Crucifixions. His monuments, for example those to Paul Fuchs (d 1540) and Bishop Konrad von Bibra (d 1544) in Wrzburg Cathedral, tend to be simple in design with a deeply carved central relief of the donor kneeling before the crucified Christ, a clear display of armorials and inscriptions, and a Renaissance frame. The formula was inspired in part by the monument to Konrad von Thungen, Bishop of Wrzburg (d 1540) by the Eichstätt sculptor Loy Hering.
  His son, Peter Dell the Younger (d. 1600), became a master sculptor in 1551 and ran the family s shop until his death. Over 40 monuments are attributed to him. His finest, for example that to Bishop Melchior Zobel (1558) in Wrzburg Cathedral, are close in style to those by his father but have more richly ornamented frames. Like his father, Peter Dell the Younger frequently signed his work with the monogram PD.
  
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