Between 1500 and 1530 wood artists in Flanders and the Netherlands created of of the most exquisite miniature religious wood carvings ever seen.
Known as woodbox carvings there are only 135 of these artifacts known to exist. These miniature pieces of art are extremely detailed, the details of which was only truly appreciated after these miniature works of arts were examined by Micro-CT scans, advanced 3D analysis software, microscopes and X-rays.
The inner layers of these tiny carvings are pieced together so well that the joints could only be seen using microscopes and X-rays. It is a wonder that the original artists of these works were able to craft cravings so finely detailed and involved without the aid of modern equipment. Pins, smaller than a grass seed were used to hold some of the wood work in place.
However, despite the use of modern technology much of the production process of these carvings remain a mystery due to traces of gold which blocked much of the X-rays “view.”
Part of the draw of these wonderful woodboxes is the fact that much of how they were made remains a true mystery adding to both the intrinsic and artistic value of these little works of art.
These carvings were created out of a demand for quality portable religious carvings in Europe prior to the reformation period. However, once attempts were underway to reform both the Protestant and Catholic church the need for miniature accessories were no longer in high demand.
The artists were probably extremely nearsighted. I know when was younger I could see the flaws in a diamond with my glasses off. This probably how illuminated manuscripts were made.
No doubt. Also no doubt they retired young and blind.
Or perhaps big magnifying lenses were used
huh. that would make more sense than the other replies
Magnifying glasses were invented 200 years before so this could be made using new technology for the time. But what blade was used as this must be hard to get anything small and sharp enough
This art is awesome . great job
Some indication of scale would have been helpful. How mniature is ‘miniature’?
The artist did a awesome job!
To Pay Spinnler. The first photo features the piece being cradled in someone’s hand. That is cleArly offering a scale .
Interestingly there are some rather strangely violent scenes depicted. There are children in chains, people being whipped and one guy is having boiling water poured over his head.
The wonder of the the detail and HOW they were created is on thing, but for me the deeper question is why, why go to such lengths?? Theregore what is contained within them is of equal importance.
Yes What stories were they trying to share perhaps ??
These are religious depictions. The violent one you are referring to depicts hell – people, not children per say, in chains, on fire, etc with the heavenly scene above with the people there kneeling and worshipping Jesus.
Could of done some research and let us know what museums contain these, so if we wanted to see one, we could plan a journey?
I found more information on where they are kept.
It is still « could have done »…
one is st francis and the moorish sutlan of egypt