Saxony-Anhalt: restored high altar in the church of St. Agnus in Köthen

In Köthen, an extraordinary high altar is back in its place.

Saxony-Anhalt: restored high altar in the church of St. Agnus in Köthen

In Köthen, an extraordinary high altar is back in its place. The art object was extensively restored and then stored because the church was being renovated.

Köthen (dpa/sa) - The late Gothic high altar in the Protestant Church of St. Agnus in Köthen has been restored and is back in its original place. "Actually, the restoration work began in 2016 due to mold and was completed in 2017," said restorer Gabriele Georgi on Tuesday. "The altar had to be stored because the renovation work on the structure of the church has only just ended."

In terms of art history, the altar is an important late Gothic winged altar from around 1510. The artist is unknown, but the altar comes from a central German workshop. It is a winged altar with carved wooden shrine figures and four painted wings. An extremely rare depiction is the Adoration of the Eucharist. The other three panels bear scenes from the Old Testament, which are also related to the Lord's Supper.

During the restoration of the church in the late 19th century, the altar was given a neo-Gothic frame with a predella (plinth) and a sprenge (crowning), which is now lost. The carved figures and parts of the shrine frames were given a neo-Gothic paint finish, with the original late Gothic paint finish underneath being preserved. The gilded and engraved background of the carved figures, imitating heavy brocade fabric, has been preserved in its original form.

The evangelical church of St. Agnus in Köthen was built between 1694 and 1699 at the behest of Princess Gisela Agnes von Anhalt-Köthen. The altar probably originally came from Merseburg Cathedral and then came to Köthen. The baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a member of the community during his time as court conductor in Köthen (1717-1723).

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