Master Paul of Levoča

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The Last Supper scene from Master Paul's altar in Levoča

Master Paul of Levoča (Hungarian: Lőcsei Pál mester, Slovak: Majster Pavol z Levoče) was a medieval carver and sculptor of the 15th and 16th century, active mostly in the town of Levoča (Hungarian: Lőcse) in the Kingdom of Hungary (today in Slovakia).

"Madonna and Child", detail of the retable in the Church of the Assumption, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia


Most documents about him vanished at the Levoča fire in 1550. So, neither his surname, nor dates or places of birth and death are known. It is assumed that he was born between 1470 and 1480. He must have died between 1537 (when he is still mentioned on record) and 1542 (when his widow is mentioned).[1]

He probably started working in Kraków (from the connections of this city with Levoča at that time and from similarity of styles he could be a student of Veit Stoss), Sabinov (Hungarian: Kisszeben), Banská Bystrica (Hungarian: Besztercebánya) until he settled in Levoča around 1500 and married a daughter of an influential citizen. In 1506 he established a carving workshop. A list of some of his works includes an altar of St. Barbara in Banská Bystrica from 1509, an altar of St. George in Spišská Sobota (Hungarian: Szepesszombat; today a part of Poprad) from 1516, and his most famous work, completed in 1517, an altar in the Basilica of St. James in Levoča. This late Gothic altar is the highest in Europe, with 18.62 meters of height. It is carved in wood and decorated with gold. The Madonna from this altar was also depicted in the former issue of 100 SKK banknotes (before Slovakia's adoption of the Euro on 1 January 2009).[2]

In 1527 he became a member of the Levoča town council, but he became famous only after his death. Even art historians started to mention his name only in the 1870s in discussions about the creator of the altar in Levoča.


  1. ^ "Master Paul biography". Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Ivan Chalupecký (7 May 2003). "Who was Master Pavol of Levoca?". Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  • Hleb, E.: Levo in history, history in Levoči. Prešov 1995.
  • CHALUPECKÝ, I.: St.. James' Church. Martin 1991st
  • CHALUPECKÝ, I.: Contribution to the biography of Master Paul. In: Writings - homeland Proceedings I. Ves, 1967, p. 181 - 187
  • Kluber, Š.: Master Paul in Zips towns. In: Levo - seat Zips towns of the province (1271-1971). Levoča 1971 p. 23 - 25
  • Master Paul of Levoča - life, work time. Proceedings of seminára.Levoča 1991st

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