Nicolaus Gerhaert van Leyden was the most powerful and original Netherlandish sculptor of the second half of the 15th century. He is known to have worked in Strasburg, Trier, and Vienna, and several signed or documented works survive, in both stone and wood, but the details of his life are obscure. His work is extraordinarily vivid and unconventional, capturing an intense feeling of inner life, as in the celebrated bust of a man
in Strasburg (Muse de l Oeuvre, Notre-Dame), which is usually considered to be a self portrait. The voluminous style of his draperies and his boldness of approach suggest that he was trained in a Burgundian workshop where Claus Sluter
s style was still predominant, although his name indicates that he was born in the northern Netherlands. His work had considerable influence, particularly in Germany.
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