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The scene shows the funeral of Walther von der Vogelweide, the medieval lyric poet and minnesinger (singer of love). His body is carried aloft on a bier whilst birds fly around. Walter was a knight and a Catholic (although in favour of German unity) whose last name means 'of the bird-meadow'. He features as a character in Wagner’s 'Tannhäuser' (1845) and is immortalised in a poem by Longfellow (1807–1882), who was an admirer: VOGELWEID, the Minnesinger, When he left this world of ours, Laid his body in the cloister, Under Wurtzburg's minster towers.
oil on canvas
H 71 x W 81.5 cm
gift from Miss Hildegarde Miller, 1975