14th - 16th Century Gallery - Painting & Decorative Arts Level 1, NGV International
Churches played a prominent role in the daily life in medieval and Renaissance Europe. They typically faced onto busy market places and public squares and were sometimes dedicated to a local saint. Church exteriors often served as a ‘Poor Man’s Bible’, and were elaborately decorated with sculptures, paintings or mosaics that illustrated mankind’s salvation through repentance. In southern Germany limewood sculptures were typically situated in the covered areas around a church entrance. Subject to exposure, such sculptures would often be replaced when they became damaged or out of date.