Architectural drawing and design
History (General) and history of Europe
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AbstractAlthough many churches once had rood-lofts, only few survive. One of the finest examples in the Netherlands is the late-gothic rood-loft in the church of Saint-George's at Amersfoort. It is situated in front of the choir separating the sanctuary of the chapter, which was founded in 1337, from the lay-church. The eastern part of the hall church, where the laymen had their altars and sermons, was completed about 1390, as was the western part of the choir - only in 1425 the chevet was finished. The architectural framework of the rood gallery is overgrown by leaves of stone. The fine quality of both the architectural concept and the sculpture clearly indicates a skillful master as its creator. The first time a rood-loft is mentioned in this church is in a document dating back to 1481. Lacking the documents concerned with the erection of this monumental structure, and lacking physical evidence of an older structure at the same spot, the most probable date of construction will be 1480 or few years earlier. A stone-mark found on the Amersfoort rood-loft as well as in the northern aisle of Saint-Victor's church at Xanten (Germany) points at Willem Backerweerd, sculptor and master-builder, as the creator. Little is known of him and his work. Backerweerd is first mentioned in documents of Zwolle, where he made a tabernacle for Saint-Michael's church in 1467 and 1468, of which only little remains. In 1488 a ‘Meister Wilhelm’ built the baptistery of Saint-Nicholas church at Kalkar (Germany, near Xanten), probably Backerweerd. From 1489 till 1491 he was appointed master-builder of Saint-Victor's church at Xanten. He was called from Utrecht, so it appears he lived and/or worked in Utrecht those years. Only these three activities are written documented. To his work can among other things probably be attributed, based on stylistical comparison, a sculptured doorway in House Zoudenbalch at Utrecht, built in 1467 and 1468, building sculpture in the church of Aalten, the sedilia in the Bovenkerk at Kampen, parts of the cathedral at Utrecht and two balustrades at Our-Ladies tower at Amersfoort.