The right side altar

The artist ...

... allows us to get an insight into the way of the Gothic representation of the birth of Jesus. The altar is dated back to the second half of the 15th century. It was painted and signed by Jakob Mülholzer, a painter from Windsheim. The woodcarver is unknown.


The paintings tell us ...

... about the life of Mary,

mother of Jesus. On the painting of the left altar wing, Mary is reading in a medieval living-room. The Holy Ghost is hovering above her in the shape of a little dove  -  an indication to God’s exceptional acting.

The angel appears in the midst of everyday life ( right side wing ). He announces to Mary to become pregnant through the spirit of God and to give birth to the Saviour. The lilies of the valley in the vase on the floor hint at that event according to the medieval description of the painting.

Perhaps the meeting shown in the window-pane above the angel tells about the meeting of Mary with Elizabeth. In the meeting of the two pregnant women the life of Jesus is connected with that of John the Baptist.


... about God as source of life

The scene of the Lord’s Supper in the predella is carved in wood and variedly painted. Jesus is sitting at the table with his disciples. He is blessing bread and wine, holding his favourite disciple John at the same time.

The side panels of the predella take up the issue “bread” in their paintings. On the left Melchizedek, king and priest, is offering bread and wine to Abraham. On the right there are the miracles in the desert: bread ( manna ) is falling from heaven and water is springing from a rock. These stories tell about God as the origin of the power of life.


A well-kept secret ...

... are the sculptures behind the sometimes closed wings of the altar. They are seldom to be seen and mostly known through pictures.

From left to right:

Holy Afra with a torch because she was supposed to be burnt as a martyr; Holy Ottilia, an abbess whose blindness apparently went away while she was baptized; then there is John the Evangelist; then Holy Lucia with her neck perforated during her torture; and finally Holy Agatha.



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