The Medieval World, C. 400–1300

Carolingian and Ottonian Art

What was impressive about the doors of Bishop Bernward?

The splendidly designed bronze doors of Bishop Bernward were built for the abbey church of St. Michael’s in Hildesheim, Germany. The doors themselves are enormous—over sixteen feet tall—and are the first example of monumental bronze sculpture made by the lost-wax process since antiquity. Each door was made as one piece—a remarkable technical feat considering the complex relief sculpture covering each door. Notable for their masterful metalwork, the doors are also impressive due to their complex narrative imagery, which outlines both Old and New Testament events. Each door is divided into eight panels, each representing a specific biblical scene, a design likely inspired from manuscript illumination.


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