The Samson-Master was one of the most outstanding sculptors of the Rhineland during the early 13th century. The artist was named after the stone sculpture of Samson that can be found in the Benedictine abbey of Maria Laach. The artfully carved architectural ornamentation on the porch of the abbey church, which is known as the “Paradise”, was also executed by this master and the artists of his workshop.

Art historians have grouped the works from Maria Laach with other stylistically related sculptures that were created around the year 1200 for several churches in the region extending from Brauweiler and Cologne to Andernach.

This is the first time in decades that the Samson figure and the capitals from the Paradise portal of Maria Laach Abbey have been made accessible to the public. At the abbey itself, copies have replaced the original capitals. This spotlight exhibition in the Museum Schnütgen in cooperation with the Cologne Cathedral Treasury now offers visitors the unique opportunity to take a close look at the sculptural work that gave the master sculptor his name as well as the capitals and other pieces associated with him.

The finely worked double capitals in the Cathedral Treasury with their fanciful decoration are particularly closely related to the capitals from Maria Laach. Alongside the works exhibited in the Museum Schnütgen they display the diversity and expressiveness of Romanesque stone sculpture in the Rhineland.