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 Due note su Michael Pacher: il San Lorenzo dell’Altare di San Lorenzo, e il soggiorno a Milano

 

Giorgio Bonsanti

 

At the heart of this essay are two questions concerning the South Tyrolean woodcarver and painter Michael Pacher (probably Bruneck, ca. 1435-Salzburg, 1498). First, the polychrome wood figure of Saint Lawrence, presently in storage at the Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum in Innsbruck, is examined. In 1950, Josef Ringler had suggested that the statue originally belonged to Pacher’s first documented and surviving altarpiece for the high altar of the parish church in Sankt Lorenzen (Pustertal, South Tyrol). Although Austrian art historians argued against this attribution on grounds which here are demonstrated as wholly untenable, the origin of this work is confirmed and considered to be very early testimony of the Renaissance in German speaking lands. The second question concerns Pacher’s supposed artistic relationship with Milan, a topic already treated by the author (1990, 2012). The recent discovery of a document attesting the presence in Milan of a «Michele de Allemania [...] maystro da intaglio rellevato de ligname» in May 1472 – when Pacher is undocumented in Bruneck and approximately at the time when his presence in Milan had been assumed by the author – appears to provide dramatic confirmation; on the other hand, some uncertainty still lingers.