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June 2017

Veit Stoss’s High Altar of St Mary's Church—A 15th Century Altar Depicting Skin Lesions

Author Affiliations
  • 1Specialist Medical Practice–Pathologist, Non Public Health Care Unit, Department of Pathology (NZOZ Zakład Patologii Spółka z o.o.), Kielce, Poland
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(6):592. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.1015

The wooden altarpiece at St. Mary’s Church in Cracow, Poland, is famous for its great wealth of both carved and painted detailed depiction of the human body. Following the manner of Italian masters, who exercised their knowledge of human anatomy with great diligence, a celebrated German sculptor, Veit Stoss (circa 1450-1533), reproduced the pathological skin lesions of his models with great fidelity in the pentaptych of St Mary’s Church (1477 to 1484) (a copy of Veit Stoss’s High Altar is kept in St John Cantius Church in Chicago).1

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