Sunday Photo Fiction: Der deutsche Holzschnitzer (The German Woodcarver) #amwriting #flashfiction


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting this week’s SPF.


Credit: © C.E. Ayer


Jacobus was a talented Holtzschnitzer (woodcarver) as his Papa and Opa had been before him. He gazed at the fine ritter (knight) he had geschnitzt (carved) on the remaining panel of set of doors in the St. Mary Magdalene’s Kathedralen (cathedral). He was greatly pleased by his relief die Schnitzereit (carvings) and the subject matter. His Opa would have been proud, he had been the most exceptional Holtzschnitzer of his time.

When Jacobus was four, his Papa taught him everything he knew then, sent him around Europe to train under Meister der Holzschnitzerei (woodcarving masters). At the prime of life, Jacobus was in Paris working on Holzschnitzereien (woodcarvings) for the king of France, schnitzen (carving) reliefs and figures for a generous wage.

Jacobus was even more talented than his Opa had been and enjoyed that the subject matter in many French Kathedralen weren’t so limited due to the Renaissance influence in art. His next project was a die Schnitzereit of Mary Magdalene. Not a relief but a carefully schnitzen (carved) contrapposto* figure with a rounded body, full breasts, and hips.

These were the Holzschnitzereien found in Italian churches and not the old Gothic churches of his homeland in Deutschland. Jacobus grinned as plans for the Mary Magdalene took shape. He grabbed etwas Pergament (some parchment) off a table nearby and began to sketch.


*Contrappasto – “Is an Italian term that means counterpoise. It is used in the visual arts to describe a human figure standing with most of its weight on one foot so that its shoulders and arms twist off-axis from the hips and legs (Wikipedia.com).”


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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19 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction: Der deutsche Holzschnitzer (The German Woodcarver) #amwriting #flashfiction”

    1. Oh he definitely is Michael. It’s around the 1500’s A.D. and his craft and excellent training as made him a middle class man, something many men won’t experience for a great while yet. He makes out well and the Renaissance standards of beauty and humanism allow him to carve a very beautiful woman instead of merely what was permitted in M.A. church. Thanks for reading 🙂

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    1. Thanks Ian. The best wood carvers in Medieval Europe we’re from Germany and so I was trying to install Jacobus with this sense of history as England/France etc. Experienced the Renaissance and more leniency in what could be carved and decorated, painted, etc. in churches and cathedrals during this time. Italy experienced the Renaissance much earlier so it took time for that to spread to the rest of Europe. Glad you liked. Thanks

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    1. Thanks Joy. Was the German to disruptive? I wanted to give you a sense of who Jacobus was as the best medieval woodcarvers cape from Germany and this about the 1500’s so the Renaissance in plays like England and France. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s good. Yeah I could’ve put the meanings at the bottom but German is so different from English (even though it’s 3/4 based on it) that I thought having the word right close was good. I’m glad you found it informative. Thanks Joy

        Liked by 1 person

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