Collecting Treasures of the Past

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Collecting Treasures of the Past

J U L I U S B Ö H L E R & B LU M K A

28 SELEC TED WORKS

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Collecting Treasures of the Past

Over 140 years Dear Customers and Friends of the Kunsthandlung Julius Böhler, When T EFAF closed its doors in March 2020 due to Corona we could not have envisaged that we would have to wait two years before seeing our customers from around the world once again. Since that time we have largely had to do without personal contact and exchanges and without the sensual perception of the works of art displayed.

First and foremost I would like to thank my wife Catrin for her continuous support and close companionship. I also would like to thank Eva Bitzinger and Julia Scheid for their excellent research, Christopher Wynne for his precise translations, Andreas Huber for his outstanding photographs and Matthias Schilling for his beautiful design of this book. Last but not least I would like to thank Tony Blumka for the last 22 years in a partnership which has become a real friendship.

The pandemic also impacted the 140th anniversary of the Kunsthandlung Julius Böhler. Almost all the planned celebrations had to be cancelled. All the more reason for me to express once again how very special the anniversary year 2020 was for us. Since my great-grandfather founded the art dealer’s in Munich in 1880 my family has been trading with important objects from the early Middle Ages to the Baroque period with enduring continuity. Julius Böhler is one of the oldest, family-owned art dealers in Europe. Many rare and very special works of art now to be found in museums and private art collections all over the world have passed through our hands since the year of our company’s foundation.

Exemplary for the exquisite quality of our works of art offered for sale is the bronze figure of a horse (Padua or Milan, 1490 –1500) of extraordinary elegance and sleekness that has retained its beautiful original patina over the centuries. Created using the direct casting process the work testifies to the skill of the master craftsman. I personally am particularly fond of this horse, as the Italian Renaissance is my great passion. It is the most beautiful bronze I have ever owned. We invite you most sincerely to visit us again this year at our stand in Maastricht. Before then, we wish you an exciting journey of discovery with our catalogue. We look forward to seeing you!

Over the past two years we have, of course, not remained inactive. During this time we have managed to acquire a number of exceptional and rare objects for you. We have also used the time for scholarly work and art-historical research. We are pleased, therefore, to be able to present a rich selection of important items here in our catalogue.

Yours, Florian Eitle-Böhler

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A new start All good things come to those who wait … or so I have heard. It has been over two years so what better occasion than our return to T EFA F Maastricht to present you with a new publication. As we have with our “Collecting Treasures of the Past” catalogues, again we offer a wide range of exceptional sculptures and other works of art. Going forward we are all optimistic that life in the art world evolves into an exciting new pattern of interactions with our friends, colleagues, and clients that are essential to bring back the joy to our profession. The conversations and discussions that we have as a community increases our awareness – producing fresh eyes for connoisseurs while celebrating enjoyment in arts.

Each object has been specifically selected for this catalogue because of the high level of quality as well as thorough academic and scientific study; especially focusing on due diligence in provenance research. The exceptional enamel plaque with the scene of Christ Carrying the Cross, originally belonging to the same series as four other plaques in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the relief with a rare scene of Saint Eligius Shoeing the Horse attributed to Hans Thoman; and the stone sculpture of Enthroned Virgin with Child that is a remarkable example of the Maria Lactans iconography are only a few artworks we are excited to bring to you.

I wish to thank Zeljka Himbele, our Gallery Manager, Vera Miljkovic, Photographer and Ane Georgiades, Conservator, for their dedication to our objects, and to Florian Eitle and his team, Eva Bitzinger and Julia Scheid, for the thorough research they have done. Even as we were isolated, we are thankful for the collaboration without which this publication would not have been possible.

We sincerely hope that you enjoy the publication, and photography, but even better if you will visit us in person. Tony Blumka

P. S.: This is also great opportunity to announce a new chapter in our lives. Lois and I will be moving to a new location in New York in September. Please note that our address will be at the Gainsborough Studios, 222 Central Park South. We hope to welcome many of you there.

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CHRIST CRUCIFIED TILMAN RIEMENSCHNEIDER

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( AT T R I B U T E D T O )

H I S PA N O - M O R E S Q U E

05 ALBARELLO

RELIEF WITH THE LEGEND OF THE SHOEING OF THE HORSE HANS THOMAN

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( AT T R I B U T E D T O )

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Contents Julius Böhler – Over 140 years.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Blumka – A new start . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 01 Lion Aquamanile.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 PORTRAIT OF AN

02 Mirror Case.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

IDEALISED WOMAN

03 Enthroned Virgin and Child . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

SIMO N E D I B IANCO

04 Virgin and Child . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

( AT T R I B U T E D T O )

05 Hispano-Moresque Albarello . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

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06 ’Schöne Madonna‘.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 07 A Pair of Candlesticks with Lion Feet  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 08 Relief with the Head of Saint John the Baptist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 09 Head of Saint John on a Platter – ‘Johannesschüssel’.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 10 Two Wings of an Altarpiece with Scenes from the Life of the Virgin Mary.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 11 Christ Crucified, attributed to Tilman Riemenschneider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 12 Two Wings of a Small Altarpiece with Scenes of the Life of Christ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 13 Trotting Horse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 14 Christ Carrying the Cross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 15 Relief with the Legend of the Shoeing of the Horse, attributed to Hans Thoman.. . . . . . . . 102 16 Stained Glass Roundel with Saint John the Baptist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 17 Portrait of an Idealised Woman, attributed to Simone di Bianco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 18 Ewer with Bacchanal and the Triumph of Sea Gods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 19 Damascene Mirror . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 20 Crucifixion Group with Christ and Mary Magdalene. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130 21 Christ Crucified, attributed to Georg Petel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 22 Relief with Lot and his Daughters, attributed to Daniel Neuberger the Younger . . . . . . . 142 23 Relief with Saint Sebastian, attributed to Christoph Daniel Schenck.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 24 Saint Sebastian, with the Coat of Arms of the Prince-Bishop of Bamberg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156 25 Ceres, Allegory of Summer, by Ferdinand Tietz.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 26 Relief with the Lamentation, by Balthasar Permoser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 27 Relief with the Rape of Europa, by Dominikus Stainhart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174 28 Frederik V, King of Denmark, by Johann Christoph Ludwig Lücke.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180 Publishing Credits.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190 Photo Credits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191

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Lion Aquamanile

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L I O N AQ UA M A N I L E

This aquamanile in the form of a lion was made in Hildesheim around 1250. The long-legged animal’s body is highly stylised. Its head and alert eyes take in the surroundings. The thick mane is executed in voluminous, carefully arranged sections in relief over the animal’s body like a natural ornamental decoration. The delicate chasing is a naturalistic imitation of the mane’s structure. The lion’s face is depicted very precisely; the eyes, drawn down to the sides, look upwards and are expressively modelled. Finely chased, hatched lines and dots accentuate the eyebrows and the lines between the mouth and cheeks. Further strands of the mane are suggested in relief between the upright, perforated ears. The mouth is open and reveals two rows of teeth. The triangular shape of those immediately next to the spout, that appear to be holding onto it firmly, evoke fangs. The opening for filling the vessel is between the ears; the lid is missing. A dragon stretches the length of the lion’s back and serves as a handle. It supports itself with two of its legs at the back of the lion’s head and holds onto the mane with its mouth. The body of this mythical creature merges with the lion’s flat tail that arches upwards.

Germany, Hildesheim Circa 1250 Two modern inscriptions in ink: ‘1909 ER’ and ‘J. v S. G.’ Copper alloy, direct lost-wax casting Height: 27 cm, length: 27 cm Provenance: Private Collection, Germany, Bonn (by tradition in the family long before 1930). Related Literature: Olchawa, Joanna. Aquamanilien. Genese, Verbreitung und Bedeutung in islamischen und christlichen Zeremonien, Regensburg 2019. Knüvener, Peter (ed.). Mittelalterliche Kunst aus Berlin und Brandenburg, Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin, Berlin 2011. Brandt, Michael (ed.). Bild und Bestie. Hildesheimer Bronzen der Stauferzeit, exh. cat., Dom-Museum Hildesheim, Regensburg 2008.

The origin of such exquisite ewers, luxury objects, cast using the lost wax technique, is to be found in the Orient. They arrived in Europe as a result of the crusades and the spread of the Byzantine culture. Aquamaniles executed in bronze soon became firm favourites among Romanesque sculpted objects in the Holy Roman Empire.

Bloch, Peter. Aquamanilien. Mittelalterliche Bronzen für sakralen und profanen Gebrauch, Milan 1981. Falke, Otto von and Meyer, Erich. Romanische Leuchter und Gefäße. Gießgefäße der Gotik (Bronzegeräte des Mittelalters, vol. l), Berlin 1935.

They were used for washing hands as part of a liturgical ritual, as well as at mealtimes in a secular context. The lion was the most sought-after motif. Griffins, horses and equestrian figures were also popular subjects. Less than 150 lion aquamaniles are known to have survived to this day. Aquamaniles had their heyday between the early 12th and the late 16th centuries.

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As in the Orient, the lion – the most majestic of animals – also has positive connotations in the western world. A certain identification between the user and the characteristics of the animal, such as strength, courage and generosity, was intended. Also in heraldry a real fashion for lions emerged at this time and the lion was a symbolic embodiment of the ideal characteristics of a courtly person.

In scholarship a differentiation between religious and secular objects, that is often not immediately clear, is made based on the motifs used. How, however, is this to be seen in the case of the lion which is equally compatible with chivalric, worldly motifs? Christian iconography is familiar with the depiction of Christ in the Psalms where, in Psalms 91:13, it is written: “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”

The ‘Brunswick Lion’, a statue in Braunschweig, Germany, was an important model both for the stylised lion of aquamaniles and for the art of casting in the 12th century. The large statue, commissioned by Henry the Lion in 1166 as a symbol of his epithet, represents the largest figurative cast made using the lost wax technique after Antiquity.

The lion aquamanile with the dragon handle can also be seen as a symbol of the powers of the antichrist and devil overcome by Jesus and could, therefore, have been used within a liturgical context, too. 1

Fig. 1. Lion Aquamanile in the Swedish History Museum, inv. no. 4409, height: 26 cm, length: 25.5 cm, Hildesheim Workshop, first half of 13th century

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Cf. Bloch, op. cit., p. 3


Joanna Olchawa, the author of a very extensive expertise 2 about this lion aquamanile, designates a very similar lion aquamanile, belonging to the collection of the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm (fig. 1). “Here, the head with its snub nose is also clearly separated from the mane collar. The finely engraved tufts of hair and that on the three-part tail of the dragon on the handle are particularly noticeable and may possibly have been added at a later date.” 3

The provenance of the object is difficult to determine despite the two inscriptions in ink on the body of the figure (‘1909 ER’ and ‘J. v S. G’). The latter can be identified beyond doubt as that of the art trading company Julius and Selig Goldschmidt, Frankfurt am Main (later with branches in Berlin, Paris and New York) that was active in the 19th century. Around 1868, the company sold an aquamanile from the Middle Ages from the collection of Friedrich Hahn from Hanover. The person or collection for whom the possible initials ‘ER’ stand, cannot be determined.

Olchawa also writes: “The aquamanile is without doubt a medieval object created in the Hildesheim workshops around the middle of the 13th century. The date and place of production can be definitively established through the comparison with ten other lion aquamaniles and a lion candelabra. … For these reasons, the object holds an important position in art-historical research with regard to understanding the development of shapes and models.“ 4

“Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.” (Psalms 91:13)

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Expertise Joanna Olchawa, Frankfurt, 2019

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Ibid., p. 4

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Ibid., p. 6


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Mirror Case

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MIRROR CASE

Mirror cases are exquisite treasures of the Middle Ages. The decorative pictorial fields mostly feature profane courtly scenes with courting couples, hunting or games sceneries, making a reference to the Middle Age ideal of the ‘Hohe Minne’. These objects were probably expensive presents, given to family or friends on the occasion of an engagement or a wedding.

France (Paris?) Circa 1310  –1320 Ivory Height: 10 cm, width: 9.5 cm Provenance: Collection Charles Gillot (1853  –1903), Paris; By descent until 2008.

Our mirror case also belongs to this tradition. The image area is divided into four compartments by a tree and its outgoing branches. Two smaller trees border the sides. We can see loving couples in all four areas. Clockwise: a woman who is giving a crown to her lover, followed by a young man who caresses his beloved by touching her chin. Below, a young man is kneeling in front to the woman he admires and is giving her a rose taken from the rose tree, while she is making a flower wreath. Next to that scene, a couple plays chess at a table. Four mythological creatures decorate the object’s outer edges.

Literature: Koechlin, Raymond. Les Ivoires Gothiques français, Paris 1924, vol. II, cat. no. 1012, pp. 372/373. Related Literature: Gaborin-Chopin, Danielle. Ivoires médiévaux V e – XV e siècle, Musée du Louvre, Départment des Objets d’Art, Paris, 2003, cat. no. 129, pp. 354 – 356. Exhibition: Exposition rétrospective de l’art français des origines à 1800, Petit Palais, Paris, 1900, cat. no. 181.

The high quality carving of the faces and clothes suggests that the mirror case had been made in a Paris workshop circa 1310  –1320. There are two comparable mirror cases with courtly scenes in the Louvre in Paris (fig. 1)1, also dated circa 1310  –1320, and one in the Musée de Cluny (fig. 2). Raymond Koechlin cites only ten mirror cases with four divided decorated areas.2 Danielle Gaborit-Chopin completes this group by another four works .3 The scene of loving couples playing chess is a very rare one.

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Gaborin-Chopin, op. cit., no. 129, p. 354 ff

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Koechlin, op. cit., vol. II, p. 382, cat. no. 1007 – 1015

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Gaborin-Chopin, op. cit., p. 356


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Mirror cases are always made of two round disks, often with creeping mythological creatures positioned on the edges. On the inner side, the border was often embossed with edge banding at the same time so that the mirror could be inserted. Mirrors were probably made of polished metal or glass with pleated lead on the back. To open the mirror case, both sides of it would have to be rotated in opposite directions and would click when closed. Today, almost no complete mirror cases are preserved.

Fig. 1. Two Mirror Cases: Courtly Scenes, Paris, circa 1310 –1320, ivory, Musée du Louvre, Paris, formerly Collection Révoil, inv. no. MRR 197

Fig. 2. Mirror Case, Amor and two Couples, Paris, 14th century, ivory, Musée de Cluny – Musée National du Moyen Âge, Paris, inv. no. CL9191

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Enthroned Virgin and Child

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ENTHRONED VIRGIN AND CHILD

The Virgin Mary, with a peaceful and loving facial expression, is seated on a cushion that rests on a marbleised cuboid pedestal. She is wearing a modest crown decorated with painted gems and round spires, a belted gown, a long mantel and pointed shoes. With her left arm she cradles the Christ Child sitting on her left knee while proffering him her breast with her right hand. Christ’s right arm is not depicted, nor is his right foot, though his left foot juts out from under his robe onto the Virgin’s lap. His left hand rests on the Virgin’s right hand.

France First half 14th century Limestone with original polychromy Height: 57.2 cm Provenance: Collection Delannoy, Paris; Collection Georg Schwarz, Berlin; Collection Hugo Benario, Berlin; Leopold Blumka.

The group is a supreme example of Maria Lactans (Nursing Madonna) iconography as could already be found in both 9th and 10th-century Coptic art as well as later in Byzantine painting and sculpture. However, it gained much wider popularity in 12th-century medieval Europe during the period’s movement towards realism and humanism. The iconography continued to be actively used in painting and sculpture into the Renaissance. Based on William H. Forsyth’s article, as well as the book by Dr. Charles T. Little, Curator Emeritus of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1, it is presumed that our Enthroned Virgin and Child comes either from near the Île-de-France or north of that region.

Literature: Die Sammlung Georg Schwarz: Bildwerke der Antike und der christlichen Epochen in Holz, Stein, Ton und Bronze, exhib. 20 –23 May 1917, Cassirer-Helbing, Berlin 1917, cat. no. 102. Volbach, Wolfgang Friedrich. Die mittelalterlichen Bildwerke der Sammlung Benario, Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, Berlin 1923, cat. no. 6, plate IV. Sammlung Hugo Benario, Rudolph Lepke’s Kunst-Auctions-Haus, Berlin 1976, cat. no. 81, plate 3. Related Literature: Vitry, Paul and Brière, Gaston. Documents de Sculpture Française du Moyen Âge, D.A. Longuet, Paris 1904  –13. Forsyth, William H. ‘The Virgin and Child in French FourteenthCentury Sculpture: A Method of Classification’ in: The Art Bulletin, vol. 39, no. 3 (September 1957), pp. 171 –182. Little, Charles T. Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Sculpture, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 2006.

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Comp. Forsyth op.cit. and Little op. cit.


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Remains of gilding can be found on the hair of the two figures as well as on the Virgin’s crown and, selectively, throughout the garments of both (i.e. along the trim and sleeves, the Virgin’s belt and around the dark, diamond-shaped decorations of the Virgin’s robes). Areas of red polychromy remain in the folds of the Virgin’s veil and mantle, on the interior folds of the garments of both figures and on decorative details of the Virgin’s crown. The marbleised pedestal is painted red, green and yellow in what appears to have been a wet-on-wet application. There is also black polychromy on small, selective areas that appear to serve mainly as embellishments and outlines for gilding on the crown and in the trim of the garments. Fig. 1. Virgin and Child seated with dragon underneath her feet, Île-de-France, circa 1300 –1325, wood, 116 x 54 x 36 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. RF1369

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This excellently preserved sculpture shows numerous similarities to the sitting Madonna from the Collection Bossy, now in the Louvre in Paris (fig. 1).

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Virgin and Child

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VIRGIN AND CHILD

The Virgin Mary and the Christ Child, held in the crook of his mother’s left arm, look serenely at the viewer. The sculpture, resting on a plinth, has been carved in the round. The upper body of the Mother of God has a pronounced curve, the ‘S’ shape resulting from the baby Jesus being positioned above the Virgin’s supporting leg. The Christ Child, sitting upright and swathed in gold, would originally have been stretching out his hand – that has since been lost – to the faithful in the manner of a New Adam. His mother is clad in a golden, blue-lined robe that lies close to her upper body; from her hips downwards the material falls to the ground in rich folds. Her head is covered with a large, white veil or maphorion, decorated with ribbons edged in red and originally held in place by a crown that is now missing.

Probably Bohemia or Franconia Second quarter of 14th century Lindenwood with polychromy and gilding Height: 96 cm Provenance: Collection Konrad Nolte, Germany, Delbrück. Related Literature: Karl IV. Kaiser von Gottes Gnaden. Kunst und Repräsentation des Hauses Luxemburg 1310 –1437, exh. cat., Prague 2006, Munich/Berlin 2006.

The Madonna and Child is probably Franconian or Bohemian and is strongly modelled on French sculpture, as explained in an expertise by Dr. Markus Hörsch 1 who references the Madonna and Child formerly in the Dominican convent of St. Louis in Poissy and today in the Museum Mayer van den Bergh in Anwerp.2 However our Madonna is later than the Madonna from Poissy, that dates from 1300, and its style can be compared with other figures of the Virgin Mary, based on French prototypes and created in Franconia around 1340–50, probably by a French sculptor. In this connection a comparision can be made to two stone sculptures that were carved around 1340–50 in Franconia for the Ursuline Convent of the Annunciation in Würzburg 3 and the so-called House Madonna of Nordheim/Main, 4 probably made for a church in Würzburg.

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1

Expertise by Dr. Markus Hörsch, 22.02.2015

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Illustrated in exh. cat., Prague 2006, op. cit., p. 104, cat. no. 18.1.

3

Ibid., p. 106, ill. cat. no. 19.1.

4

Ibid., p. 104  –  05, cat. no. 19, illustrated


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Hörsch mentions another central work with respect to the development of later so-called ‘Beautiful Madonnas‘ (cf. cat. no. 6) – the Prague Madonna ‘Our Lady of the Old Town Hall‘ (or ‘Old Town Hall Madonna‘) 5 of around 1356/57. This Madonna is of an advanced style that goes beyond that of the Würzburg Madonna. Hörsch describes our Madonna as a ‘masterpiece made in Southern Germany’ that, although still closely modelled on works produced in France, reflects this new fashion that excels the Würzburg examples already mentioned. This style of Madonna, characterised by its softly modelled lines and pronounced hips, spread in the course of the third quarter of the 14th century throughout Bohemia and the whole of the Holy Roman Empire. It originated at the court of Charles IV as an expression of his imperial representational needs and had a major influence on European art over the following decades. 6 This Madonna reveals the first stylistic responses to the new socalled ‘Beautiful Style’ in Prague, making it difficult to determine whether it was created in Prague/Bohemia or in Franconia.

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5

Ibid., pp. 105  –  07, cat. no. 20, illustrated

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Cf. Markus Hörsch, ‘Der Aufstieg des Hauses Luxemburg. Vielfalt der Anfänge künstlerischer Repräsentation’, in: exh. cat., Prague 2006, op. cit., p. 25ff


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Hispano-Moresque Albarello

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H I S PA N O - M O R E S Q U E A L B A R E L L O

This three-coloured albarello, a vessel used to store valuable spices, was probably made in a pottery workshop in Manises or Paterna in the second half of the 15th century. Standing on a distinctly modelled pedestal, the tall, slender cylindrical body has slightly concave walls; the shoulder is short and the neck section long. The white-glazed body is divided into four registers coloured in a bold cobalt blue and manganese brown. The two principle sections, divided by a manganese brown ring outlined in blue, are decorated with vegetal shapes (with alternating leaf and floral patterns), an ataurique decorative motif typical of Arab earthenware. Fine arabesques embellish the shoulder; the long, straight neck has a linear decoration in cobalt blue and manganese brown.

Spain (Paterna or Manises) 1435  –1460 Tin-glazed and lustred earthenware Height: 29 cm Provenance: Gift of George Blumenthal to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1941 (41.190.112); Exchanged in June 2007 for a marble tabernacle (France, 14th century) from the Doll collection; Collection of Paul W. Doll jr., New York, until 2020. Related Literature: Monreal, Louis. Schätze des Aga Khan Museums, Meisterwerke islamischer Kunst, Berlin 2010.

The first lustreware pieces were fashioned in the early 9th century under the Abbasids in present-day Iraq although, originally, it is probable that glassmakers already developed the lustreware technique in the 8th century. The recipe for exquisite earthenware was a well-kept secret. Through the migration of potters and their families the secret technique spread across Egypt, then Syria and Persia. From the 12th century onwards lustreware was produced in Muslim regions on the Iberian Peninsula. The workshops in Manises and Paterna near Valencia are famous. For the potters, the long, stable political climate and wealthy clients in ‘al-Andalus’ were conducive to their success. The region also boasted rich deposits of metals and clay that were needed in the production of lustreware.

Dectot, Xavier. Reflets d’or, d’orient en occident. La céramique lustrée IX – XV siècle, Paris 2008. Dectot, Xavier. Céramiques hispaniques (XII – XVIII siècle), Paris 2007. Vendrell-Saz, M. et al. Islamic and Hispano-Moresque Pottery in Spain: A Technical Approach, Zaragoza 2006. Hudson, Christopher. The Arts of Fire. Islamic Influences on Glass and Ceramics of the Italian Renaissance, Los Angeles 1994. Caiger-Smith, Alan. Lustre Pottery, Technique, Tradition and Innovation in Islam and the Western World, London 1991. Sievernich, Gereon and Budde, Hendrik. Europa und der Orient: 800 –1900, Berlin 1989.

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The manufacturing instructions from the 14th century were passed down by Abu’l-Qasim who came from a dynasty of potters in Kashan, Iran, the Persian centre of lustreware. According to Abu’l-Qasim, earthenware has to be fired twice. Before the first firing, the clay is coated with a tin glaze; for the second firing, the object is painted with a paste comprising silver and copper compounds dissolved in grape juice or vinegar. The second and decisive firing must be made in a special kiln. By reducing the supply of oxygen the metallic pigment bonds are modified, producing a shimmering film on the surface of the ceramic piece. After firing, the item is polished with damp earth after cooling. Firing is considered a success when the object is a ‘reddish gold and shines like the sun’ 1. In the Middle Ages, Spanish-Islamic lustreware from Andalusia that shimmered like gold was highly prized in Europe. Items made in Muslim pottery workshops were exported over land and across the Mediterranean to Christian countries in the Western World, to Sicily and northern Germany. Lustreware was considered a status symbol – not only by the great houses of Spain. The Duke of Burgundy and the Medicis of Florence were also among those who commissioned and collected works which often bore religious or heraldic decorative motifs. Evidence in the visual arts of the importance that southern Spanish lustreware attained in the 14th century can be found in the central panel with the Adoration of the Shepherds in Hugo van der Goes‘ Portinari Triptych (figs 1 +  2). A lustreware albarello is being used as a vase; it is shown both in its new function as an everyday object and, at the same time, as a representative, prestigious item.

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Hudson, op. cit., p. 39


This albarello entered the holdings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1941 as part of the extensive bequest of the banker George Blumenthal (1858   –1941). In 2007, together with the wing of a medieval tabernacle, the vessel was exchanged for a marble tabernacle from the 14th century in the collection of Paul W. Doll jr., of New York. The Met presumably decided to part with Blumenthal’s gift as two albarelli with very similar decorative elements were included in the bequest, as seen in the image (fig. 3).

Fig. 1. The Portinari Triptych by Hugo van der Goes (Gent 1435/40  –1482 Brussels), central panel, oil on wood, Bruges, 1477 – 78, The Uffizi Galleries, Florence

Fig. 2. The Portinari Triptych by Hugo van der Goes, detail with Spanish lustreware

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Fig. 3. Albarello, formerly in the Blumenthal Collection, now in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

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‘Schöne Madonna’

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‘ S C H Ö N E M A D O N N A’ (Beautiful Madonna)

The Virgin Mary is gently holding the naked Christ Child, supporting her arm on her jutting left hip. To counterbalance the hip she leans her body far to the left and her head to the right. The overall posture describes the typical curve rather like the letter ‘S’. The white robe with a blue lining falls in a cascade of deep bowlshaped folds. The body is barely recognisable; only the tip of the right foot of the free leg peeks out at the bottom of the robe. The Virgin appears lost in thought, her gaze passing beyond the viewer. The Christ Child establishes no direct eye contact either. With his right hand he is holding his mother’s veil, pulling it playfully towards him.

Salzburg or Tyrol Circa 1420 Lindenwood with original polychromy Height: 50.5 cm Provenance: Kunsthandlung Madl, Vienna, 1920s, from where acquired by Leopoldine Katharina Kutter, Vienna; In Kutter’s possession until 1964; Sold through the mediation of Dr. Kurt Rossacher in 1965 to Prof. Anton Dermota, hon. ‘Kammersänger’, Vienna, in whose family it remained until 2020.

The figure carved in the round stands on an octagonal plinth, the straight, long front forming the principal aspect. Nevertheless, the sculpture is not intended to be viewed from just one angle, offering as it does new and delightful perspectives from all sides. From the last third of the 14th century onwards a new type of Madonna became widespread in several areas in Europe. The Virgin, clothed in a voluminous mantle, is shown holding the Christ Child lying or sitting on her arm. The soft, flowing cascade of folds in the garment and the pronounced jutting hip are typical. Together with the upper body leaning to counterbalance this, the figures gain their ‘S’ shape. The graceful formal language, the curved body and the beautiful linear clarity of the generous folds led to this type of sculpture to being referred to as ‘Beautiful Madonnas’.

Exhibition: Schöne Madonnen 1350 –1450, exh. cat., Salzburger Domkapitel, Domoratorien, Salzburg, 7 June –15 September 1965, p. 91, cat. no. 40, fig. 27, listed as Innviertel region around Ried, ecclesiastical province of Salzburg, diocese of Passau. Related Literature: Karl IV. Kaiser von Gottes Gnaden. Kunst und Repräsentation des Hauses Luxemburg 1310 –1437, exh. cat., Prague 2006, Munich/Berlin 2006.

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This new style originated in Bohemia and in the circle of the Imperial Court of Charles IV (Prague 1316  –1378). It reflects the imperial desire for representation. Charles IV, King of Bohemia and Italy and Holy Roman Emperor, was a descendant of the House of Luxembourg. From 1323, from the age of seven, he enjoyed a comprehensive education at the French Court where the later Pope Clement VI was among his teachers. The refined artistic style at the French Court influenced his taste in art. On returning to Prague Charles IV championed the fine arts. On the occasion of the city being made into an archbishopric by Pope Clement in 1344, the foundation stone for Saint Vitus Cathedral was laid. Charles IV summoned Matthias of Arras and, following the latter’s death, Peter Parler to the cathedral workshop at Saint Vitus.

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The first ‘Beautiful Madonna’ was reputedly made by a member of the Parler family, although there is no documentary evidence to support this. After their success in Prague ‘Beautiful Madonnas’ became widespread in Silesia, Austria and Bavaria. The oldest known examples are made of fine limestone, the so-called opaka or pläner rock that was quarried near Prague. Later cast stone and wood were used. The various artistic disciplines at the court in Prague, including architecture, sculpture, painting and manuscript painting reveal stylistic similarities that can be coined as the imperial Charles IV style. The best-known Madonnas are the ‘Beautiful Madonna of Toruń’ and the ‘Krumlov Madonna’, both dating from around 1390 –1400. They define a style adopted in numerous later sculptures. Our Madonna can be easily compared to the ‘Judenburg Madonna’ (Stadtpfarrkirche Sankt Nikolaus in Judenburg) 1 created slightly later, around 1420 / 30, probably in Salzburg. The Christ Child is also pulling at his mother’s veil here. The posture and curved body of this much larger limestone Madonna (145 cm) are similar. The garment, also white with gold edging and a blue lining, has generous folds of material that fall in cascades from the arms to the left and right. At the bottom, the folds are draped on the ground on both sides.

Fig. 1. The Beautiful Madonna of Perchau, circa 1420, wood, height 75 cm, polychromy of a later date (Baroque), Diözesanmuseum, Graz, inv. no. 6830.0122

Another Madonna – the so-called Perchauer Maria (fig. 1), now in the Diözesanmuseum in Graz – is very similar in form to our Madonna. Here, the Christ Child also reaches for the veil and the momentum in the folds and the execution of the faces is comparable. Stylistically, this type of Madonna has its roots in the artistic circle centred on Salzburg, without it being possible to attribute the work to any one particular artist by name. Compared to other Madonnas our figure, with a height of 50.5 cm, is relatively small. It was certainly intended for private devotional prayer.

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Schöne Madonnen, exh. cat., Salzburg, op. cit., cat. no. 26, ill. 22


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A Pair of Candlesticks with Lion Feet

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A PA I R O F C A N D L E S T I C K S W I T H L I O N F E E T

This particular form of candlestick is exemplary for Central Europe of the late 15th and early 16th century. Larger examples like ours, visually more impressive and more elaborated, were used as light sources in the residences of noblemen where they served as a sign of taste and prestige, as well as in churches during various ceremonies. Sets of such candlesticks were often arranged in a symmetrical manner around altars and tombs (see figs 1+ 2), providing light during services while gracefully complementing the surrounding church decoration.

Germany or South Netherlands (probably Nuremberg or Dinant) Late 15th/ early 16th century Copper alloy, cast Height: 135 cm Provenance: Private American Collection. Related Literature: Mende, Ursula. Die mittelalterlichen Bronzen im Germanischen Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg 2013.

Our pair of candlesticks, solid and of substantial weight, is in excellent condition. Each candlestick has a straight stem on a circular, hollow, bell-shaped base with a three-step profile. The stems are decorated with three flat knobs and shallow moulded rings. On the top there are high iron prickets (the pricket on one candlestick is a later replacement) above wide, bell-shaped, tapering drip pans. The base of each candlestick is decorated with three lions. With their elegant poses and stylised manes and tails, they were positioned on top of their respective orbs. The motifs of the lion and lion feet were used on candlesticks and other decorative arts objects throughout the 15th and 16th century, as well as in heraldry, and symbolise power, justice and wisdom.

D’Allemagne, Henry-René. Histoire du luminaire depuis l‘époque romaine jusqu‘au XIXe siècle, Paris 1981. Flanders in the Fifteenth Century: Art and Civilization, exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit 1960.

At the time of their production these objects were certainly considered precious items, as casting was a highly specialised craft. They were made to hold expensive beeswax candles; unlike more common and affordable tallow candles, beeswax candles were more appreciated because of their clear bright flame, firmness, slow burning and more pleasant scent.

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The high quality workmanship suggests that the candlesticks are of either Dinant or Nuremberg origin. The two cities were leading centres of metalwork production in Europe at the time. Brass foundries were associated with the Netherlandish Meuse region, particularly the town of Dinant, prompting the term ‘dinanderie’ being used for such objects. Due to the Sack of Dinant in 1466 by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, many of the town’s craftsmen fled to other cities including Nuremberg. As the relationship between Dinant and Nuremberg was very close, the Dinant-style objects made in Nuremberg are also often referred to as dinanderie. It remains difficult to establish with certainty where a particular dinanderie object was made.

Fig. 1. Master of James IV of Scotland (Flemish, before 1465 – c. 1541), Office of the Dead, circa 1510  – 20, tempera colours, gold and ink, Ms. Ludwig IX 18 (83. ML. 114), fol. 185, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Fig. 2. Master of James IV of Scotland, Office of the Dead, detail

Fig. 3. Pair of Candlesticks with Lion Feet, early 16th century, brass, Flanders or Netherlands(?), The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, inv. nos 54.940; 54.941

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Relief with the Head of Saint John the Baptist

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RELIEF WITH THE HEAD OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

The head of Saint John the Baptist is represented on a dish, the wound made by Herodias is depicted over the left eye; above two angels bear a small figure on a cloth representing the soul of the saint; below Christ stands in the tomb; flanked by Saint Peter and Saint Thomas Becket and above them Saint Catherine and Saint Dorothy.

England (Nottingham) Late 15 th century Alabaster, with the original partial polychromy Height: 29.5 cm, width: 18 cm

The juxtaposition of Saint John the Baptist’s head and Christ as the ‘Man of Sorrows’ shifts the salvation of the soul to the forefront. The soul, supported by two angels that can be seen at the upper edge of the relief, is often interpreted as that of Saint John. It could, however, equally well imply the soul of the viewer who, by contemplating the relief, asks for the salvation of his own soul. This also accounts for the presence of Saint Peter who is always depicted at the bottom on the left of such reliefs. Peter, as the keeper of the key to the gate of heaven, is the mediator between man and god.

Provenance: Private Collection England, until c. 1960; Private Collection Spain. Related Literature: Brink, Peter van den, Preising, Dagmar, Polfer, Michel (ed.). Blut und Tränen. Albrecht Bouts und das Antlitz der Passion, exh. cat., Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum Aachen, 8 March–11 June 2017, Regensburg 2016, pp. 164 –167, cat. no. 44. Williamson, Paul (ed.). Objects of Devotion, Medieval English Alabaster Sculpture from the Victoria and Albert Museum, Alexandria, Virginia 2010, nos 18, 46, 49.

Unlike most reliefs made to be assembled and fitted into an altar, this relief and others with the same subject were carved for private veneration and hung in no other context. The closest comparison to our carving is preserved in the Burrell Collection, Glasgow (fig. 1).

Cheetham, Francis. Alabaster Images of Medieval England. Woodbridge 2003, reprint 2011, pp. 156 –160, figs 1– 21, esp. figs 15 –19 (type F), colour ill. XXI, p. 14. Cheetham, Francis. Alabaster Men, Sacred Images from Medieval England, Woodbridge 2001.

Alabaster has been a material of choice for sculpture since Ancient Egyptian times. The aesthetic advantages of this relatively soft, marble-like stone are its warm lustre and translucent surface. It is easy to sculpt but is not weather resistant and, therefore, only suitable for an interior space. In the Late Middle Ages extensive reserves of alabaster were discovered near Nottingham, England. Numerous workshops were established in which so-called ‘alabastermen’ carved figures of saints, altarpieces and tombs to meet the great demand for religious artworks in England and for export.

Arndt Hella, Kroos Renate. ‘Zur Ikonographie der Johannesschüssel’, in: Aachener Kunstblätter, vol. 38, 1969, pp. 243 – 328.

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Fig. 1. Altarpiece panel depicting the Head of St John the Baptist, in original triptych case, circa 1470–1485, alabaster, Burrell Collection, Glasgow, inv. n. 1.34

The types of figural works created in or around Nottingham include simplified or schematised but nevertheless expressive faces as well as bodies that are not quite to scale. The painting of alabaster figures is also something characteristic of works produced in this area. The manufacture of religious works of art stopped abruptly with the Reformation under King Henry VIII.

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Head of Saint John on a Platter ‘Johannesschüssel’

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H E A D O F S A I N T J O H N O N A P L AT T E R ‘J O H A N N E S S C H Ü S S E L’

The events surrounding the violent death of the prophet John, who foretold the coming of the Messiah and who is considered his forerunner, are described in the Gospels according to Saint Matthew (14:1 – 12) and Saint Mark (6:14 – 29). Herod Antipas had begun an affair with his sister-in-law, Herodias, for which John publicly reproached him. As a consequence Herod had him arrested. Herodias was also furious at being accused of adultery and contemplated revenge. During a magnificent feast her daughter, Salomé, danced for Herod. Herod was so enraptured by her performance that he promised to grant her every wish. Incited by her mother, Salomé demanded the head of Saint John that was then handed to her on a platter. When Salomé’s mother was presented the severed head she is reputed to have thrust a knife into the Saint John’s forehead in revenge. This injury can also be seen on the relic of the saint’s head that is still kept on a platter in a silver reliquary in Amiens Cathedral.

England, (Nottingham) First half 15th century Remains of an illegible inscription on the rim of the plate Alabaster, with the original gilding and polychromy Diameter: 32.5 cm Provenance: Private Collection, Germany. Literature: Cheetham, Francis, Alabaster Images of Medieval England, Woodbridge 2003, reprinted 2011, pp. 156 –  60, Heads of St John the Baptist, esp. p. 156, type B, no. 6, fig. 5. Related Literature: Woods, Kim W., Cut in Alabaster. A Material of Sculpture and its European Traditions 1330 –1530, Turnhout 2018, pp. 347 – 54.

The cult surrounding the head of Saint John the Baptist began in the Early Middle Ages and reached its peak in the 15th century. Numerous sculptural works were created in wood, clay, stone and alabaster, inspired by the presentation of the head. Alabaster in particularly is especially well suited because of its translucent colour, comparable to that of skin. The eyes, mouth and hair were usually highlighted in coloured paint.

Brink, Peter van den, Preising, Dagmar, Polfer, Michel (eds), Blut und Tränen. Albrecht Bouts und das Antlitz der Passion, exh. cat., Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum Aachen, 8 March – 11 June 2017, Regensburg 2016, p. 43ff. Williamson, Paul (ed.) Object of Devotion, Medieval English Alabaster Sculpture from the Victoria and Albert Museum, Alexandria, Virginia, 2010.

Sculptural depictions of the severed head on a platter used for devotional purposes can be traced back to the 13th century. In the 15th and 16th centuries the so-called ‘Johannesschüssel’ became widespread in England and on the continent. Their frequent mention in lists of assets in the estates of private individuals confirms that they were also used for private prayer.1 However, works depicting Saint John’s head on a platter were also placed on altars and mounted on walls or in niches, such as the Head of Saint John in Saint Willibrod in Utrecht (attributed to the Workshop to the Master of Rimini).2

Arndt Hella, Kroos Renate, ‘Zur Ikonographie der Johannesschüssel’, in: Aachener Kunstblätter, vol. 38, 1969, pp. 243 – 328.

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1

Woods, op. cit., pp. 347 – 54, here p. 350

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Ibid., p. 111, fig. 1


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The relic of the head of John the Baptist in Amiens was said to have healing powers, providing relief from epilepsy, headaches, sore throats, melancholy and depression. These healing effects were also transferred to the ‘Johannesschüssel’ as representations of the original relic. The platters also played a role in mystery plays. Similarly, they were carried in processions around altars on the summer solstice to augment the regeneration of the earth and the fertility of women.3 On 24 June, just after the summer solstice, the birth of John the Baptist is celebrated, exactly six months before 24 December on which Christ was born, immediately following the winter solstice. John’s words: “He [Christ] must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30) are seen as a reference to the cycle of days becoming shorter and longer. As such, the head of Saint John was placed within a cosmic context that was much older than the religious tradition. Stylistically, this Head of Saint John on a Platter can be dated to the first half of the 15th century. It was most probably made in England in a workshop near Nottingham. The style of this work with the head presented on the platter is relatively rare in England. Heads of Saint John are otherwise more frequently found in rectangular alabaster reliefs (cf. cat. no. 8). ‘Johannesschüssels’ are more common in Westphalia and in the south of the Netherlands.

“Give me here on a platter the head of John Baptist” (Matthew 14:8)

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Baert in exh. cat., Aachen 2017, op. cit., p. 45


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RELIEF WITH THE HEAD OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

Cheetham, Francis, Alabaster Images of Medieval England, Woodbridge 2003, reprinted 2011, pp. 156  -  60, Heads of St John the Baptist, esp. p. 156, type B, no. 6, fig. 5.

H E A D O F S A I N T J O H N O N A P L AT T E R “J O H A N N E S S C H Ü S S E L”

Related literature: Woods, Kim W., Cut in Alabaster. A Material of Sculpture and its European Traditions 1330 - 1530, Turnhout 2018, pp. 347 - 54.

England, (Nottingham) 1st half of 15th-century

Brink, Peter van den, Preising, Dagmar, Polfer, Michel (eds), Blut und Tränen. Albrecht Bouts und das Antlitz der Passion, exh. cat., Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum Aachen, 8 March - 11 June 2017, Regensburg 2016, p. 43ff.

Remains of an illegible inscription on the rim of the plate Alabaster, with the original gilding and polychromy Diameter: 32.5 cm

Williamson, Paul (ed.) Object of Devotion, Medieval English Alabaster Sculpture from the Victoria and Albert Museum, Alexandria (VA) 2010, p. 317.

Provenance: Private collection, Germany

Arndt Hella, Kroos Renate, ‘Zur Ikonographie der Johannesschüssel’, in: Aachener Kunstblätter, vol. 38, 1969, pp. 243 - 328.

Literature:

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Two Wings of an Altarpiece with Scenes from the Life of the Virgin Mary

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T W O W I N G S O F A N A LTA R P I E C E W I T H S C E N E S FROM THE LIFE OF THE VIRGIN MARY

The four works each illustrate a different episode from the life of the Virgin Mary. They probably originally belonged to a winged altarpiece. On the outer sides of the wings are two painted scenes – the Annunciation and the Presentation in the Temple. On the inside of the wings the Birth of Christ is on the left and the Adoration of the Magi on the right.

Southeastern Germany (Innviertel region, probably Passau) Late 15th century Two reliefs with The Birth of Christ and The Adoration of the Magi Lindenwood with the original gilding and polychromy Height: 156 cm, width: 69 cm (The Birth of Christ) Height: 155.4 cm, width: 70.2 cm (The Adoration of the Magi)

The panel paintings have been cropped along the lower edge. As a result only fragments of the figures of the two donors have been preserved. On the Annunciation panel a monk, shown with a fortified tower in his hand, can be seen on the left; on the Presentation in the Temple panel a nun is depicted at the bottom right, identified as the abbess of a convent by the crosier in her hand.

Two paintings with The Annunciation and The Presentation in the Temple Oil on panel Height: 157.6 cm, width: 70.2 cm (The Annunciation) Height: 156.3 cm, width: 70.8 cm (The Presentation in the Temple) Provenance: Probably commissioned by an Augustinian monk or congregation; Probably Collection of Albert von Carmesina (1806 – 1881), Vienna; Purchased by Eduard Strache (1847 – 1912), Vienna, between 1866 and 1870; By way of inheritance Collection of Emil Wittasek (1885–1971), Vienna; Acquired by the Zentralsparkasse of the City of Vienna in 1975 (merged in 1991 with the Bank of Austria); until 2018 on loan to the Vienna Museum.

The Annunciation The Archangel Gabriel approaches the Virgin Mary with his index finger raised to attract attention. He is holding a herald’s staff in his left hand around which the banner with the words of the ‘Hail Mary’ are wound: AVE MARIA, GRATIA PLENA, DOMINUS TECUM – ‘Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you’. The announcement of the imminent conception of the Son of God is told in the Gospel according to Saint Luke (Luke 1:26 –38). Mary, absorbed in her reading, is startled by the unexpected visit, but the angel reassures her: ‘Fear not’.

Exhibition: Wien im Mittelalter, Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, exh. cat., Vienna 1976, ex catalogue.

Hovering above her in the form of a dove, the Holy Spirit is received by the Virgin Mary as indicated by rays of light that fall on her from the upper left. The painter, whose name is not known, modelled his work on an engraving by Martin Schongauer, 1 keeping to it very closely, right down to the design of the folds, with all but minor deviations.

Related Literature: Kemperdick, Stephan. Martin Schongauer. Eine Monographie, Petersberg 2004. Brunner, Alois/Brunner Max (eds). Faszination Mittelalter. Himmlisches Streben, exh. cat., Passau Oberhausmuseum 2002, Passau 2002. Schultes, Lothar/Prokisch Bernhard (eds). Gotikschätze. Oberösterreich, exh. cat., Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum Linz, Weitra 2002.

On the lower left, the donor, in the robes of a cleric, is depicted on a smaller scale. He is holding a fortified tower that he presents to Mary as a gift. As it is not a church it is probably not an indication of the painting’s intended location. The banner, that may have provided information about the building, is truncated. The vase containing lilies and lilies-of-the-valley as a symbol of the Virgin’s purity is also no longer visible due to the cropping of the panel.

Krone-Balcke, Ulrike. Der Kefermarkter Altar – sein Meister und seine Werkstatt, Munich, Berlin 1999.

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The Annunciation and The Presentation in the Temple

The Birth of Christ and The Adoration of the Magi

The Birth of Christ With minor deviations the Nativity relief is similarly in keeping with a copperplate engraving by Martin Schongauer.2 Mary kneels devoutly in prayer before the child in a round-arched stable ruin. Ox and donkey have been depicted at the birth of the Saviour since early Christian times, fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy: “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib” (Isaiah 1:3).

Fig. 1. Martin Schongauer (1440/45–1491), The Adoration of the Magi, engraving, 25.5 x 16.7 cm

The words of the ‘Salve Regina’ – MAR[IA] SALVE REGINA [MATER] MISERECOR[I]A VITA DULCEDO ET (et spes nostra, salve) – ‘Hail Mary, Queen, Mother of mercy: Our life, sweetness (and hope, hail)’ are written along the hem of the Virgin’s cloak. Directly below the hands is the invocation ‘Mary help us’ on the cloak’s hem. The Adoration of the Magi The Enthroned Virgin Mary is depicted in front of the stable receiving the precious gifts that the Three Wise Men from the Orient have brought: gold, frankincense and myrrh. The kings, one behind the other, are magnificently dressed. The Christ Child is cheerfully reaching into the open casket that Melchior has handed to Mary. Caspar is blessing the scene and proffers a golden incense holder. The youngest king, Balthasar, is the last of the three and is wearing a pointed hat with a tassel, as in Martin Schongauer’s engraving (fig. 1) 3 on which the sculptor modelled this relief.

Standing pensively Joseph is shown in the background, sensing the significance of the event. The lantern in his hand is an indication of the true light that will enter the world with Jesus. Outside, shepherds hurry to the stable after being brought the good news by an angel: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10 – 11).

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1

Kemperdick, op. cit., p. 87, K 1, ill.

2

Ibid., p. 90, K 4, ill.

3

Ibid., p. 91, K 5, ill.


The Presentation in the Temple To commemorate their liberation from slavery in Egypt (2nd Book of Moses,13:2 – 15) it was a Jewish custom to present the first-born son to the priest in the temple and to release him from temple service by making a sacrificial gift (five Shekel). On the day Mary and Joseph went to the temple, Simeon was also there. It had been prophesied to him that he would not die until he had seen the Saviour. He lifted up the boy, in whom he recognised the new Messiah, saying: “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word. For mine eyes have seen the salvation which thou hast prepared before all nations, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and glory to thy people Israel.” The prophetess Hannah, an aged woman of eighty-four, also recognised the Son of God and told all those who had been waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

This attribution to a workshop from Passau within the historically larger Innviertel is based on stylistic similarities. A panel painting in the Diözesanmuseum Passau with a Mary from an ‘Annunciation’ and an ‘Adoration of the Magi’ verso5 can be used as a comparison. The youthful-looking Mary and the modelling of the firm facial features of the Three Kings, especially the bearded king kneeling before the child, and an ‘Adoration of the Magi’ in Maria Laach am Jauerling6 show compositionally striking similarities. The reliefs, however, cannot be traced back to the same carver. There are, however, motivic parallels. This type of image was very popular in the art of the Passau region around 1480 – 90.7 It is equally difficult to determine the church, monastery or convent for which the works were created. It is assumed that the nun is an abbess from an Augustinian convent. In order to explain the monk as the donor, only joint foundations probably come into consideration. This would include Klosterneuburg where a convent for the Canonesses of Saint Augustine also existed until 1722. Another hypothesis is that the donor was a relative of the abbess who had bequeathed his property, a fortified estate, to the convent. Equally well the priest may have been in charge of a congregation that was overseen by the monastery.

Joseph is holding a basket containing two doves for the prescribed purification offering that the mother of a newborn baby had to make at the temple. According to Moses this did not happen until 40 days after the birth, i.e. ten days after the Presentation (3rd Book of Moses 12). According to the Gospel of Saint Luke, the sacrifice is performed at the same time as the Presentation, as shown here. “They also wished to offer their sacrifice according to the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24).

As both donors are lacking banners and possible coats of arms that would have helped to identify them, it is not possible to establish the monastery for which the panels were intended.

The carved reliefs and the panels are works of exceptionally high quality. The Frankfurt art historian Michaela Schedl believes that, since they have remained unknown to scholarly research until now, the unknown master has not yet been given a provisional name for this reason. According to what is known to date, it can be assumed that the artist came from the Innviertel region.4

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Written appraisal by Dr. Michaela Schedl, 2021 in which she cites Dr. Lothar Schultes who refers to the ‘Adoration of the Magi’ in Maria Laach am Jauerling and the works in the Diözesanmuseum Passau (inv. no. D 381) in his research. From a stylistical point of view he considers it plausible that the wings of the altarpiece are from a workshop in Passau.

5

Diözesanmuseum Passau, inv. no. D 381, illustrated in: Brunner, Alois/Brunner Max, op. cit., cat. no. 4/14 a+b

6

Krone-Balcke, op. cit., p. 138, ill. no. 95

7

Ibid., p. 142


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Christ Crucified Tilman Riemenschneider ( AT T R I B U T E D T O )

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CHRIST CRUCIFIED

The artist depicts Christ Crucified as a young man immediately after the throes of death on the cross. His head with the Crown of Thorns hangs heavily on his right shoulder. Clotted strands of hair frame his bearded face. His mouth is slightly open; his tongue pressing outwards – an indication that he has just died. Christ is nailed to the cross in three places – through both of his hands and through his feet that are arranged one over the other. The muscular, slim and seemingly elegant body is captured with considerable anatomical accuracy. The loincloth, tied around Christ’s hips, winds around the sides in artistic, almost Mannerist-like loops.

TILMAN RIEMENSCHNEIDER attributed to Heiligenstadt 1460 –1531 Würzburg Early 16th century Fruit wood Height: 24 cm Provenance: Collection of Professor Wilhelm von Miller (Munich 1848 –1899); Acquired in 1907 by Julius Böhler from von Miller’s estate; Thence by descent.

As the figure is relatively small, it was made for private devotional use and would have been placed on a house altar.

Related Literature: Soder von Güldenstubbe, Erik and Widlich, Ariane. Tilman Riemenschneider und sein Erbe im Taubertal, Gerchsheim 2004, pp. 67 ff.

The figure is attributed to Tilman Riemenschneider. Stylistically, it is similar to a depiction of Christ in the crucifixion group in the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt (fig. 1) – made in Riemenschneider’s own hand and workshop.

Chapuis, Julien. Tilman Riemenschneider, Master Sculptor of the Late Middle Ages, exh. cat., New Haven 1999, pp. 290 ff.

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Christ’s face, the Crown of Thorns, his body and the loincloth are modelled in the same way on this work, as are the lance wound and the inserted nipples. On comparison, the face and hair of our figure of Christ are arguably slightly less finely carved.

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Fig. 1. Crucifixion group, Tilman Riemenschneider and workshop, circa 1500, lindenwood, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt

“Riemenschneider, one of the most important artists during the transition period from late Gothic to the Renaissance, created works largely of religious subjects.” His customers included the Church and wealthy citizens. His first, prominent commissions that could be seen by the general public, primarily altarpieces and crucifixion groups, founded his artistic reputation and helped him establish a flourishing workshop in Würzburg.

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Two Wings of a Small Altarpiece with Scenes of the Life of Christ

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T W O W I N G S O F A S M A L L A LTA R P I E C E WITH SCENES OF THE LIFE OF CHRIST

The two panels, painted on the front and back, are from a small winged altarpiece. When open, the scenes from the life of Christ would possibly have framed a painted or carved representation of the Crucifixion in the centre. When closed, the panels bear a depiction of an architecturally structured sacred space lit by three arched windows. There is a stone bench at seat height below. Four arcades in the foreground frame holy figures that, at the same time, create a distance to the viewer. The tiled floor painted in perspective consciously lends the scene depth.

Germany, Westphalia Late 15 th century Exterior panels: Saint Christopher and the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child Saint Anne and Saint Anthony Interior panels: Ecce Homo and The Entombment

Depicted from left to right are Saint Christopher carrying Jesus across a river, the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child, her mother Anne and, on the far right, Saint Anthony with his attributes, a small bell and the piglet, whose pointed, smooth snout protrudes from under the habit. The fine, blazing fire behind Anthony refers to the proverbial ‘Saint Anthony’s fire’, a disease caused by ergot poisoning that was thought to be a skin disease in the Middle Ages. It was believed that relics of Saint Anthony could cure the painful and often fatal disease.

Oil on wood Height: 79 cm, width: 57 cm, each Provenance: The Berkeley Collection, Spetchley, Worcestershire, before 1916; From 1916 until 2019 in family ownership. Literature: ‘Spetchley Park I. Worcestershire. The Seat of Mr. R. V. Berkeley’ in: Country Life, 8 July 1916, p. 45, photographed in the salon; Spetchley inventory 1949.

The golden nimbuses framing the heads of the saints still correspond to the tradition of medieval panel painting. However, there are also numerous details that have their origins in postmedieval realism and are aimed at stimulating the viewer’s sensory perception. Bodies and columns cast shadows on the floor, delicately executed waves play on the water of the river over which Saint Christopher carries the baby Jesus. The Christ Child, his hand raised in the gesture of a blessing, holds a globe in his left hand that is not made of metal but of glass in which the outside world is reflected. The unknown artist also skilfully depicts the saints’ clothing: Anne is dressed in fashionable courtly style. She is wearing a velvet undergarment, a red robe trimmed with white ermine and a green-lined cloak. The Virgin Mary, on the other hand, is majestic in her blue dress and white cloak, held together by a golden clasp.

Related Literature: Hilger, Hans Peter. Die Stadtpfarrkirche Sankt Nicolai in Kalkar, Cleves 1990, p. 54, on the Master of the Kalkar Death of the Virgin Mary. Derick Baegert und sein Werk, exh. cat., Städtisches Museum Wesel, 27 Nov. 2011–15 Jan. 2012, Wesel 2011.

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Exterior panels with Saint Christopher and the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child (left) and Saint Anne and Saint Anthony (right)

The saints depicted on the outside are everyday patron saints: Saint Christopher watches over the traveller, Saint Anthony or the Order of Saint Anthony named after him symbolises the care of the sick, success in the cultivation of the land and cattle breeding.

Interior panels with Ecce Homo (left) and The Entombment of Christ (right)

Through printmaking, as here in an engraving by Israhel van Meckenem the Younger (c. 1440 –1503, fig. 1), this composition became very popular in the second half of the 15th century. Israhel van Meckenem was active in Cleves in 1465 and in the Westphalian town of Bocholt in 1482.

When open, scenes from the Passion of Christ can be seen. It is not known if this was a multi-part winged altar or if only these two surviving episodes from the life of Christ were depicted. Certainly one must imagine that Christ being Presented to the People and the Entombment, to the left and right, framed a central scene of the Crucifixion, the whereabouts of which is unknown.

The other panel depicts the Entombment of Christ. The body with the stigmata, wrapped in a white cloth, is being placed in a stone sarcophagus by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. The Virgin Mary, supported by Christ’s favourite disciple John, is kissing her son’s hand. Behind her stands Mary Magdalene. Two other female mourners complete the group. The scene is framed in the background by a hilly landscape with the suggestion of an urban architecture. In the foreground a meadow is shown; the grasses and flowers are rendered with great naturalistic precision.

‘Ecce Homo’ In the presence of the high priests, Pontius Pilate presents Christ, who has been scourged and crowned with thorns, to the Jewish people. According to tradition, he is prepared to release one prisoner at Passover. Pontius Pilate tells the crowd that Christ is free of guilt and calls for their pity: “Ecce homo – Behold the man”. However, the people, incited by the priests, want the insurrectionary Barabbas to be released and demand the crucifixion of the Son of God.

As on the front panels, the masterly depiction of surfaces and materiality is astonishing. With the background architecture and the splendid courtly robes, the artist confidently establishes a reference to the present day. The strong, contrasting colours, the style of the figures with clear facial features, the graphic, pronounced emphasis in the arrangement of the folds and the spatial concept are also characteristic of Westphalian painting of the last third of the 15th century.

The composition is in keeping with a form of pictorial composition that evolved in the 15th century. Christ is led to an open area at the bottom of a staircase, beneath which is a prison. Pontius Pilate, splendidly dressed, stands mediating between Christ and the people. The high priest Caiaphas, the spokesman of the Jews against Christ, stands with his feet wide apart on the far right of the picture.

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Stylistically there are similarities between this work and that of the Westphalian painter Derick Baegert. Baegert also worked with great attention to detail and is reputed to have had Italian silk brocade as a reference in his workshop.1 Parallels can also be drawn to the so-called Master of the Kalkar Death of the Virgin Mary (panel painting in Sankt Nicolai in Kalkar, fig. 3).2 If one compares the face of James the Apostle, seated at the foot of the bed (fig. 2), with that of Saint Anthony, stylistic similarities can be found in the facial features. The anonymous Master of the Kalkar Death of the Virgin Mary was probably active in Wesel. Today, he is thought to have taught Derick Baegert, the most important artist of the late 15th century in Westphalia and the Lower Rhine. Due to the stylistic proximity to Derick Baegert, it is assumed that the artist of our two panels and Baegert were students of the Master of the Kalkar Death of the Virgin Mary. It is equally conceivable that he worked together with the workshop of Derick Baegert.

Fig. 1. Israhel van Meckenem, Ecce Homo, copperplate engraving, 20.9 x 14.5 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. RP-P-OB-1107

Fig. 2. Master of the Kalkar Death of the Virgin Mary, detail, Apostle at the foot of the deathbed

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Fig. 3. Master of the Kalkar Death of the Virgin Mary, circa 1460–70, oil on panel, 88 x 70 cm, Pfarrkirche Sankt Nicolai in Kalkar

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Stauffer, in exh. cat., Wesel 2011, op.cit., p. 50

2

We would like to thank Dr. Till-Holger Borchert for the information on the Master of the Kalkar Death of the Virgin Mary


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Trotting Horse

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TROT TING HORSE

Our horse was produced using the direct casting method with which a figure is modelled in wax directly on a so-called casting core. An outer casting mould, a so-called investment, is then placed over the wax and held in place by core pins. This is followed by the firing process during which the wax runs out. Afterwards, bronze is poured into the hollow form created. The direct casting method has certain characteristics such as somewhat more solid walls of slightly varying thicknesses. In the case of our horse sculpture, an original, corrected and barely visible casting error has been identified behind the right ear. This was probably where a large part of the casting core was removed. No other corrections are discernible.

North Italian (Padua or Milan) 1490 –1500 Bronze, direct unique cast Height: 27.8, length: 31.5 cm Provenance: Marczell von Nemes Collection; his sale, at Mensing, Amsterdam, 13 –14 November 1928, lot no. 113 (as being by a ‘Milanese Master’); There acquired for 7140 Reichsmarks by Heinrich Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon; Thereafter through the family until 2006.

In the Renaissance there were only a few statues of mounted riders or horses considered as prototypes. These include the Quadriga, comprising four gilded bronze horses, taken from Constantinople in 1204 for St. Mark’s in Venice, the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome dating from Antiquity and the ‘Regisole’ (Sun King) monument in Pavia, that also dated from Antiquity but was destroyed in 1796. In 1453 Donatello completed his bronze equestrian statue of the mercenary leader Gattamelata and, up until his death in 1488, Andrea del Verrocchio had been working for ten years on a memorial to the condottiero Bartolomeo Colleoni. This was first completed and cast in 1496 by another sculptor, Alessandro Leopardi. All of these equestrian figures, however, stand on three legs, not least of all to provide stability.

Literature: Collection Marczell de Nemes, vente à Amsterdam, 13 –14 Novembre 1928, Direction Ant. W. M. Mensing, lot + plate no. 113. Related Literature: Warren, Jeremy. The Wallace Collection. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture, London 2016. Leithe-Jasper, Manfred/Wengraf, Patrizia. European Bronzes from the Quentin Collection, exh. cat., Frick Collection New York, 28 Sept. 2004 – 2 Jan.2005, Milan 2004. Krahn, Volker. Die venezianischen Kleinbronzen der Renaissance aus dem Bodemusuem Berlin, Cologne 2003.

What makes our horse so special is its elegant stride, with a diametrically opposed rear and front leg raised at the same time. The movement of this step is reminiscent of the so-called piaffe in dressage that was already being taught in the Renaissance. The lively execution of its step, the precisely modelled head with its open mouth and snorting nostrils and the mane, as well as the detailing of the unusually realistic depiction of the hooves suggest an extremely talented artist.

Reti, Ladislao (ed.). Leonardo. Künstler, Forscher, Magier. Frankfurt/Main 1974. Beck, Herbert/Blume, Dieter (eds), Natur und Antike in der Renaissance, exh. cat., Liebieghaus Frankfurt/Main, 5 Dec. 1985 – 2 March 1986, Frankfurt/Main 1985.

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Cf. Warren, op. cit., cat. no. 63, p. 306ff, on the many small scale bronze horses in the Renaissance


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In looking for an artist who could have manufactured our bronze, one soon arrives at the circle of Leonardo da Vinci (1452 –1519). Throughout his life Leonardo was preoccupied with creating the most anatomically precise depiction of a horse possible and made numerous sketches and designs of horses in various positions and gaits. The bronze cast for an equestrian statue to honour Francesco Sforza in Milan, in particular, for which Sforza’s sons sought an appropriate master of his craft after 1473, was a challenge to the universal genius. Numerous studies and sketches for this exist that interestingly also show the piaffe step sequence (fig. 1). Leonardo, however, was never able to turn one of his ingenious concepts into reality. The bronze for the cast of the Sforza monument that had already been delivered was used instead to make cannons to fight the French King Charles VIII. The equestrian monument of the condottiero Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, also planned in 1508 –1512, was never executed either. Since the end of the 15th century a large number of small-format bronzes of horses were manufactured, modelled on those made for San Marco, to decorate princely art collections. Most of these small bronzes are precise copies of the San Marco horses and are to be seen as replicas of works from Antiquity. From around 1500 the depictions become more naturalistic and more lively in their overall pose. Even if, in the past, many considered Leonardo to have been the creator of these bronze horses, today it is assumed that these small bronzes were made in north Italian workshops in Milan or in Padua.

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Indicative of our anonymous artist’s great talent is the outstanding, individual modelling of details. In addition, the whole body has a delicately hammered surface structure. As the design, skilled production and artistic quality of this horse are exquisite it must have been created in the workshop or in the vicinity of the great Renaissance master. The technical execution of this single cast could only have been achieved by an experienced craftsman who certainly would have received an apprenticeship within the circle of Leonardo.

Fig. 1. Leonardo da Vinci, Study for an Equestrian Monument (facsimile), Florence, Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe degli Uffizi

“I personally am particularly fond of this horse, as the Italian Renaissance is my great passion. It is the most beautiful bronze I have ever owned.”

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Christ Carrying the Cross

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CHRIST CARRYING THE CROSS

The relief depicts Christ in a purple robe kneeling under the weight of the Cross that has since been lost. He is just leaving the city of Jerusalem on the way to Mount Golgotha where the crucifixion is to take place. Two figures in the group on the far left are the Virgin Mary and Saint John, standing below the arch of a building. They and three more companions are dressed in violet, blue, turquoise and green robes, all contributing to the dynamic colouration of the relief. In the background is a hill with a castle on top, above which is a translucent blue sky. The vegetation in the foreground is modelled in the round.

Germany (Augsburg or Nuremberg) Circa 1520 –30 High relief, enameled, gold and silver Height: 6.4, width: 4.5 cm Provenance: Lord Francis Pelham Clinton Hope, 8th Duke of Newcastle (1866  – 1941), London; L. Harris, London; Joseph Brummer, Auction Parke-Bernet, Part I, 20 – 23 April 1949, no. 705; Melvin Goodman, Auction Parke-Bernet, 24 April 1969; Collection Paul W. Doll jr., New York, until 2020.

The enamel was made using the ronde-bosse enameling technique. In such works, a goldsmith creates the figures out of gold or silver (hammered or cast) and then coats them with a glass paste that is then melted to form enamel. The figures would then be placed on a silver or gold plate, on which the coloured, mostly translucent glass forming the background is melted between gold bars. The colour palette of our relief ranges from transparent blue and green for the background, to opaque white for the faces and turquoise, cobalt, purple and green for the robes. These precious shimmering colours give the small relief an incomparably elevated character; even the curly hair is made of gold shavings.

Exhibition: Decorative Arts of the Italian Renaissance 1400 – 1600. The Detroit Institute of Arts, 1958 – 59, cat. no. 349 (as Italian around 1500); On loan to The Baltimore Museum of Art, 1962 – 68. Literature: Burlington Fine Arts Club. Catalogue of a collection of European Enamels, 1897. Steingräber, Erich. ‘Süddeutsche Goldemailplastik der Frührenaissance’ in Studien zur Geschichte der europäischen Plastik, Festschrift Theodor Müller, 1965, Kurt Martin, Halldor Soehner, Erich Steingräber, Hans R. Weihrauch (eds), Munich 1965, pp. 223 – 33, fig. 16. Related Literature: Müller, Theodor, Steingräber, Erich. ‘Die französische Goldplastik um 1400’ in: Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (ed.), 3rd series, vol. V, pp. 29 – 79, Munich 1954.

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The Carrying of the Cross is a traditional scene from the Passion of Christ. Our enamel plaque was originally part of a series comprising several scenes. Four other gold enamel works from this series belong to the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (fig. 1). The plaques are all the same size with a round finish at the top and are comparable in their artistic execution. The character of the faces and robes, the treatment of the background with white, gold-ornamented architecture, right down to details such as the plants made of emerald-green as well as the small-scale leaves on gold wire in the foreground, suggest they all belong to the same group. These scenes from the Passion could have adorned a reliquary box or a casket. Fig. 2. Pax board with silver enamel relief, Christ before Pontius Pilate, southern Germany, early 16th century, gold and silver, enameled, 14 cm x 26 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris, Gift of Adolphe de Rothschild, 1901, inv. no. OA 5627

Another enamel plaque, also with an oval finish and depicting Christ in front of Pontius Pilate, also fits into this group. This enamel was attached to a pax board at a later date and was donated to the Louvre in Paris in 1901 by Adolph de Rothschild (fig. 2).

Fig. 1. Four Enamels with scenes from the Passion of Christ: Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, The Capture of Christ, Crowning with Thorns, The Resurrection, Germany, Augsburg or Nuremberg, 1520–30, silver, enamel, gold, each circa 6.2 x 4.5 cm, purchase, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Acquisitions Fund, 2015, The Metropolitan Museum, New York, inv. no. 2015.388.1–4

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Relief with the Legend of the Shoeing of the Horse Hans Thoman ( AT T R I B U T E D T O )

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RELIEF WITH THE LEGEND OF THE SHOEING OF THE HORSE

This relief depicts the most popular legend from the life of Saint Eligius – the saint in the process of shoeing a possessed horse. The legend tells of saint Eligius trying to shoe a vicious stallion which, possessed by the devil, could not be quietened down enough to be shoed. Saint Eligius cut off the horse’s foreleg, shoed the hoof of the amputated leg and then miraculously re-attached the leg to the horse. On the left, the relief shows Saint Eligius, intently hammering the shoe onto the hoof. To the saint’s left, a woman is touching his shoulder. Closer inspection reveals that this figure is in fact the devil disguised as a woman, with claws instead of fingers and a grotesque tongue. On the right, a groom holds the horse that is standing on three legs attentively watching Saint Eligius at work. In the foreground, the groom holds the horse’s injured leg, anticipating the re-attachment of the limb. All the figures, depicted in three-quarter profiles, are dressed in garments and footwear typical of the time. Their faces are highly individualised and expressive. Together with the movements of the respective bodies in different directions, their expressions underline the dynamics and drama of the moment.

HANS THOMAN attributed to Active in Memmingen, Germany, circa 1514 – 25 Lindenwood, painted and gilded Height: 93 cm, width: 100 cm Provenance: Figdor Collection; Oscar Bondy Collection; Private American Collection. Related Literature: Sculptures souabes de la fin du Moyen Âge, exh. cat., Musée de Cluny – Musée National du Moyen Âge, 1 April – 27 July 2015, Réunion des musées nationaux, Musée de Cluny, Paris 2015. Jopek, Norbert. German Sculpture 1430  – 1540: A catalogue of the Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London 2002. Baxandall, Michael. The Limewood Sculptures of Renaissance Germany, Yale University Press, New Haven 1980.

Saint Eligius (France, 588 – 660) is the patron Saint of goldsmiths and other metalworkers, of horses and veterinarians. Eligius was born close to Limoges, France, into an influential and educated family. The family recognised his exceptional talent and sent him to the Limoges mint to learn the goldsmith trade. His goldsmith work earned him a good reputation, leading Clotaire, the Merovingian king of France, to appoint Eligius master of the Marseilles mint and take him into the royal household. Clotaire’s son Dagobert I would later make him his chief councilor that spread Eligius’ political influence and fame. This prominence also enabled Eligius’ widely praised good deeds towards the poor and the enslaved. During his lifetime Eligius founded many monasteries and built and restored numerous churches in France.

Baxandall, Michael. South German Sculpture 1480   – 1530, Victoria and Albert Museum, London 1974.

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Three years after the king’s death in 642, Eligius was appointed Bishop of Noyon-Tournai in the north-east of France, where he worked until his death on converting the Flemish population to Christianity. In Christian iconography he is most often represented as a bishop or as a man shoeing a horse.

In the 15th century there was a general shift in the logistics of artistic production. While initially artists associated themselves with churches’ workshops, many later founded smaller independent workshops and organised themselves into guilds. This trend is typical of many Swabian towns, including Memmingen, being declared a ‘Free Imperial City’ in the Late Middle Ages. Reporting directly to the Emperor, these autonomous centres played a leading role in economic life and in enabling the arts to flourish. Through the guilds, artists attained a middle-class status, similar to merchants. Their workshops became known for their quality, the variety of individual styles and for introducing progressive concepts. They raised the standards of their respective crafts by strictly regulating the quality of materials, through the division of labour and by establishing career hierarchies within them.

Our relief is a supreme example of early 16th century Swabian sculpture. It is in very good condition with beautifully preserved painted surfaces. As with most large-scale reliefs from that region it is made of limewood, a light and elastic wood prevalent in that particular region, light in colour and homogeneous in shape with little grain. Because of its properties, limewood allows sharpedged forms to be cut and beautiful sophisticated shapes can be achieved. Limewood sculptures are hollowed out inside (at the back) forming a cylindrical shape, as the wood would crack with age if left as a large, solid block. The sculptures were painted first by applying gesso, then resin or tempera-bound colours, with garments frequently gilded with gold leaf. Naturalistic flesh tones were reserved for the body parts of the figures, while remaining surfaces were executed in a rich polychromy.

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The workshops significantly contributed to the cities’ commercial development and export economy. General characteristics of Swabian sculpture of the period are a taste for details and decorative materials, graceful poises and attention to the anatomy of the human body, echoing the humanist culture of the time. The artists merged late medieval carving traditions with innovative elements from the Italian Renaissance. While originally belonging to wider decorative projects on buildings or their interiors, these sculptures, due to their particular attention to details and their self-contained composition, undeniably function as autonomous pieces.

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Hans Thoman, a master from Memmingen, was first recorded by his full name in 1514 in Memmingen and was active until 1525. Thoman had already worked as a journeyman in the Memmingen workshop of Hans Herlin in 1502  – 05 and his early works were influenced by him. Thoman’s works were earlier attributed to the Master of Ottobeuren, named after the reliefs in Ottobeuren Abbey. 1 Thoman’s style is characterised by expressive heads and faces and well-built bodies with wide, richly decorated costumes. His garments are delicately modelled, with uninterrupted bold lines and dominating long parallel folds. The material relates to the poses and limbs of the characters while also underlying the dynamics of the depicted scenes.

Fig. 1. The Ottobeuren Master (Hans Thoman), Saint Joseph Sold into Egypt, Memmingen, circa 1520 – 30, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, inv. no. MA 1909

Fig. 2. Hans Thoman(?), Saint Martin of Tours Giving Away His Cloak, Memmingen, circa 1510 – 15, Diözesanmuseum, Rottenburg, inv. no. 7.50

Fig. 3. The Adoration Group, Workshop of Hans Thoman, Memmingen, circa 1515 – 20, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. no. 51.28a, b

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Stained Glass Roundel with Saint John the Baptist

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S TA I N E D G L A S S R O U N D E L WITH SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

This roundel bears a delicately painted, full-length depiction of Saint John. The saint is considered a precursor and forerunner of Christ. A book rests on his lower left arm with the so-called ‘Agnus Dei’ – the Lamb of God – a symbol for Jesus Christ used since early Christianity. He holds his right hand in a pointing gesture. This and his words ‘Ecce Agnus dei’ (Behold the Lamb of God) traditionally characterise depictions of the saint. His torn pelt garment, tied at the shoulder, is another of his attributes.

Germany (Cologne) First third of 16th century Surrounding inscription: Johannes Castenhoultz venerabilis curie Coloniensis causarum notarius commitatus (The notary Johannes Castenhoultz represents the interests of the honourable Curia of Cologne)

Saint John stands on a tiled floor, drawn in perspective, in front of a wall on which a tapestry with a tendril design has been hung. Behind this, a view opens up of the surrounding landscape. To the left, next to the saint, is the donor and namesake, Johannes Castenhoultz, depicted on a smaller scale. The inscription around the edge describes him as a ‘notary who represents the interests of the honourable Curia of Cologne’. Behind him are his two sons, kneeling. A rolled up document to his left acts as a reference to his work as a notary. Castenhoultz, his hands folded in prayer, is fashionably dressed in an ermine-lined coat. On the heraldic shield, known as a targe, are his initials together with a lily. This possibly refers to the fact that Castenhoultz had studied at the University of Paris. Not many burghers had the means to have themselves portrayed in such a manner. Castenhoultz must have been an honourable citizen and a renowned notary in Cologne.

Silver stained and painted clear glass roundel Diameter: 28.8 cm

A ‘notarius (ap. et imp. et curie Col. causarum) Joh. Castenhoultz’ is mentioned as an authorised representative in a document held in the city archives in Cologne, dating from 2 February 1540, in connection with election of the cathedral dean. We would like to thank Dr. Max Plassmann from the Historic Archives of the City of Cologne for drawing our attention to the institution’s virtual reading room. He also pointed out that, as the name Johannes was very common, it is certainly possible that there were several people with the name Johannes Castenhoultz.1 However, as the date 1540 of the document coincides with the creation of the roundel in the first third of the 16th century, and that it is a notary in both cases, the probability is great that the Johannes Castenhoultz in question is one and the same person.

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Silver stain is a silver oxide that is applied on glass directly and then fired. Depending on its composition, translucent shades of colour emerge after firing that oscillate between bright yellow and dark amber. The depictions were often made after drawings by well-known artists: Albrecht Dürer, Hans Baldung Grien, Hans Suess von Kulmbach, Hans Schäufelein and Hans Aldegrever all made designs for glass panels, as did their Dutch colleagues Lucas van Leyden and Cornelis Engelbrechtsz.

To date, no further information has been found about the pious donor or his house where this painted glass panel would have been installed. Painted panels of glass were created from the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries in the Netherlands and the Cologne area in particular. Wealthy burghers had the central round panels of glass in their windows – commonly known as crown glass panels – decorated with figures or heraldic elements that were then installed, surrounded by clear panels. The depictions were generally directly related to the residents of the house. In this way, families publically demonstrated their economic status or their religious leanings.

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Portrait of an Idealised Woman Simone di Bianco ( AT T R I B U T E D T O )

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PORTRAIT OF AN IDEALISED WOMAN

This marble relief depicts an elegant woman’s head in strict profile. The classical profile view, a motif from Antiquity, was initially adopted in the Renaissance for coins and medals before appearing in the form of stone reliefs as a conscious citation of Ancient Greece and Rome. The well-proportioned face – the closed lips, straight nose and calm expression – is framed by an unusual, elaborate hairstyle: her carefully plaited tresses, tied into a bow on her forehead, have been draped into a coil on her smoothly combed hair. From the temple, thick strands of hair fall onto the neck; several are turned slightly inwards giving the image a particularly sensuous appeal. The hair is additionally held in place by a narrow ribbon. The artistically arranged coiffure gives this image of a woman a contemporary appearance. The robe over her shoulders, on the other hand, emulates models from Antiquity.

S I M O N E D I B I A N CO attributed to Born near Arezzo, Italy, since 1512 active in Venice, died after 1553 Circa 1520    – 30 White marble relief Height: 30 cm, width: 23.5 cm, depth: 8.5 cm Provenance: With Charles Beddington, London, 2014; Private Collection, England. Related Literature: Markham Schulz, Anne. The History of Venetian Renaissance Sculpture. ca. 1400  –  1530, London, Turnhout 2017, pp. 355  –  365.

Stylistically, the unsigned relief is to be assigned to Venetian art of around 1520  –  30. The profile portrait in relief form was popular in the whole of Italy in the last quarter of the 15th century. In Venice, however, a unique style, influenced by Antiquity, evolved at the beginning of the 16th century, initiated through the work of Pietro and Tullio Lombardo. The classical facial features reminiscent of Antiquity and the precise execution of the hair, in particular, point to the sculptor Simone Bianco.

Markham Schulz, Anne. ‘Simone Bianco, the Grimani collection of antiquities and other unexpected findings’, in: Jahrbuch des Kunsthistorischen Museums Wien, vol. 17/18 (2015/2016), pp. 26  –  43. Kryza-Gersch, Claudia. ‘Discovered in the stores. Two female busts by Simone Bianco in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna’, in: Peta Motture, Emma Jones and Dimitrios Zikos, Carvings, Casts and Collectors, London 2013, pp. 72  –  87. Kryza-Gersch, Claudia. ‘Simone Bianco. Venezianische Skulptur zwischen Antikenbegeisterung und Antikenfälschung’, in: Kansteiner, Sascha (ed.), Pseudoantike Skulptur I. Fallstudien zu antiken Skulpturen und ihren Imitationen, Transformationen der Antike, vol. 45, Berlin 2016, pp. 9  –  24.

Simone Bianco came from the province of Arezzo. The exact place and date of birth are unknown. Bianco is first mentioned in documents in 1512 in Venice. As a successor to Tullio und Antonio Lombardo he had a decisive influence on the development of Venetian portrait sculpture in a secular context up until 1530. Unlike Florence, portrait sculpture in Venice in the 15th century was concentrated in public spaces.

Luchs, Alison. Tullio Lombardo and ideal portrait sculpture in Renaissance Venice, 1490  – 1530, Cambridge 1995.

It was not until the first third of the 16th century that wealthy residents of la Serenissima gradually commissioned sculptors to make copies of ancient works or portraits in the style of works from Antiquity, with an increasingly individual character, for private households. 1

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Simone Bianco, whose œuvre has been the subject of intensive research over the past few years, seemed to have been the driving force behind this development. The famous poet and a contemporary of his, Pietro Aretino, praised Bianco’s works, drawing comparisons with Titian. Among other statements he also reported that three busts had been sent to the French king and that Bianco was “a decent person, a good sculptor and great friend.”  2 It would appear that this artist and his delicately executed sculptures quite wrongly sank into oblivion. As he seldom signed his works, his sculptures were often not attributed to him. Bianco’s artistic legacy – often mentioned in sources – was consequently little known and his works frequently lay undiscovered as ‘works of Antiquity’ in museum depots. 3 Finds made over the past few years, however, have revealed that Simone Bianco had his own distinctive handwriting. His masterly skill can be seen, in particular, in the detailed execution of the hair which always forms a complex composition of plaits and intertwined strands. Although the sculptural treatment of the hair is similar, no one hairstyle is repeated, it always being modified instead. Two works prove that Simone Bianco also worked on reliefs. 4 A figure of Christ in Pommersfelden and a relief portrait of a woman (fig. 1). This profile portrait of a woman in the Galleria Estense in Modena, in particular, is very similar to our relief: the succinct physiognomy of Classical Antiquity and the exquisitely executed hair, right down to the last detail. Despite this being a flat relief, the perspectively depicted foreshortening of the folds in the garment and the pronounced, three-dimensional plaits and curls are also typical of Simone Bianco. The relief in Modena has also recently and convincingly been included in the sculptor’s œuvre. If one compares the two reliefs, there can be no doubt that they must have been executed by one and the same sculptor.

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Kryza-Gersch, op.cit., 2013, here: pp. 74 – 75

3

Ibid., on the two busts of women recently discovered in Vienna

4

Kryza-Gersch, op.cit., 2016, on the signed relief of Christ in Pommersfelden; the relief in Modena is attributed to Bianco by Anne Markham Schulz, see: Markham Schulz, op.cit., 2017, here: p. 39 fig. 13, and pp. 40 – 41


The lower border of the relief stone, similarly worked in both cases, also speaks in favour of this. To date, however, it has not been possible to compile a chronology for the few works. This was attempted by Kryza-Gersch who, however, notes: “Although the chronology proposed so far does not seem unreasonable, a word of caution should be added. As already pointed out by Anne Markham Schulz, Simone must have been able to switch his style according to the nature of his commission.” 5 It is certain that Bianco started his activities before 1512 and was still alive in 1553. He received many commissions and was highly skilled in making works to meet the wishes of collectors. That this relief was created around 1530, when the artist had reached the peak of his career, is highly plausible.

Fig. 1. Simone Bianco, Profile Portrait of a Woman, white marble, Galleria Estense, Modena, inv. no. 2045

The relief discussed here is also very much in keeping with Simone Bianco’s style that oscillates between all antico, on the one hand, and contemporary, on the other. Interestingly, Bianco’s idealised portraits of women, unlike his busts of men, for example, do not depict heroines from Classical Antiquity. Neither are they contemporary portraits. The style of Bianco’s work could be described as hybrid – moving little by little towards individualised portraiture from the certainty of the pictorial tradition of Antiquity. Or else his busts are creations in the style of ‘beautiful Venetian women’ to whom Palma il Vecchio (fig. 2), Titian and Paris Bordone paid homage in their paintings, executed at the same time. Giorgione established a paradigm for this new genre of female portraiture in Venetian painting with his Laura in 1506. The identity of his model remains uncertain; the ideal of female beauty being celebrated, pars pro toto, in his depiction. Our unknown beauty with her classical profile also fits perfectly into this artistic category.

Fig. 2. Palma il Vecchio (Serinalta/Bergamo c. 1480 – 1528 Venice) , Young Woman in Blue Dress with Fan, circa 1512–14, poplar wood, 63.5 x 51 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

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We are grateful to Dr. Anne Markham-Schulz who confirms the attribution to Simone Bianco on the basis of photographs. She has never seen the relief first-hand and knows it only from photographs. She thinks that Bianco was the first sculptor who kept a shop with reliefs for sale and that his young girls met with great success.

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Ewer with Bacchanal and the Triumph of Sea Gods

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E W E R W I T H B ACC H A N A L A N D T H E T R I U M P H OF SEA GODS

This finely chased copperplate ewer with grisaille painting is an outstanding work of Limousin enamel produced in the 16th century. The signature ‘IC’ is inscribed on the inner surface of the double-walled spout.

France (Limoges) Third quarter 16th century

As there are certain stylistic differences between the individual elements it is now assumed that the monogram ‘IC’ is not the signature of one particular artist but maybe the mark of a workshop. It is also possible, that it refers to several enamellers with a similar or the same name who were active in the second half of the 16th century and later.1

Signed I.C., inscribed with the inv. no. ‘G-R 772’ in red ink on the underside Grisaille and camaieu enamels Height: 27 cm Provenance: Collection of Baron Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild, sold at auction at Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 13 April 1950, after the restitution to the heirs of Goldschmidt-Rothschild in 1949; The Ernest Brummer Collection: Auction sale, 16 – 19 October 1979, Zurich, Galerie Koller & Spink & Son (sale no. 257, cat. pp. 396 – 399); Private American Collection.

The ovoid body of the delicately executed ewer comprises two parts, joined by a ring in between. The narrow neck on the upper half with its curved lip at the spout, is also chased. A conically shaped foot gives the object stability; the widely arched handle ensures the necessary functionality.

Literature: The Ernest Brummer Sale, auction sale, 16 – 19 October 1979, Zurich, Galerie Koller & Spink & Son (sale no. 257, cat. pp. 396 – 399).

Thematically, an exuberant bacchanal dominates the ewer’s decoration. It was modelled on the engraving ‘The Triumph of Bacchus’ (c. 1546, fig. 1) by the French architect and draughtsman Jacques Androuet du Cerceau (before 1520 –1585/86) that is one of a widespread series of designs for vessels. The composition, originally conceived as a decoration for a bowl or basin, has been transferred here to the main body of the ewer, albeit in a more compact style and with several modifications made by the enameller.

Kjellberg, Pierre. ‘Limoges, Fontainebleau’, Connaissance des arts, July 1979, no. 329. Works of Art from the Estate of the Late Baron Max von Goldschmidt-Rothschild; Auction sale 13 and 14 April 1950, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, sale no. 137, cat. p. 7. Related Literature: Wardropper, Alan. Limoges Enamels at the Frick Collection, New York 2015.

A boisterous celebration is depicted: Silenus, drunk and exhausted from all the revelry, is seated on a donkey and supported by two elderly satyrs; another is holding Silenus’ mantle, dynamically caught in motion, that is about to slip from his shoulder. Other satyrs are playing the syrinx and trumpet. A small child and a billy goat form a second group of mounted characters. Through the light colour of the skin the figures are decoratively set off against the dark enamel background that is brightened by bushes highlighted in white and gold.

Weinhold, Ulrike. Maleremail aus Limoges im Grünen Gewölbe, exh. cat., Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 17 September 2008 –18 January 2009, Munich/Berlin 2008. Caroselli, Susan L. The Painted Enamels of Limoges: A Catalogue of the Collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, L.A. 1993.

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The shoulder of the ewer is decorated with a number of frolicking aquatic creatures based on ‘The Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite’, another work by Jacques Androuet du Cerceau.

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A group of mythical monsters is splashing around in a skillfully depicted foaming sea of white, wavy lines on a dark background. Winged stags, a bull ridden by a fabulous masked creature with wings, a female centaur, a woman with bats’ wings, a Triton, a Nereid and another mythical creature are dancing on the waves. The neck of the ewer, the central bead and the foot of the object are decorated with large acanthus leaves and golden tendrils. The ornamentation on the underside of the handle comprises stylised golden cornflowers on a dark ground; the contrasting white enamelled upper surface bears a black linear decoration in the form of a twisted cord.

Fig. 1 Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, vol. VI, fol.30. ”Cortège de Silene et du jeune Bacchus, projet du fond de coupe“, circa 1546, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, MFILM E 040339. L.p. 64.

Enamel objects with decorative grisaille painting are typical of the ‘IC’ workshops. Figurative and decorative elements are applied in white on a dark ground with delicately differentiated areas of light and shade. Grisailles were left monochrome or, in this case, coloured by pigments applied on top, creating the illusion of a bas-relief. Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, whose engravings provided the basis for the ornamentation on the ewer, strongly influenced Limousin decoration in the 16th century with his graphic designs. Stylistically these belong to the Fontainebleau School, a French variation of Mannerism. Thanks to printmaking, these popular artistic models soon became widespread. Our ewer belongs to a large group of very similar vessels from the workshop of the monogrammist ‘IC’ that are characterised by the same decorative principle.2 At the time they were made, enamel objects of this quality were considered absolute luxury items, intended less for everyday use and more as decoration in a nobleman’s palace or a wealthy burgher’s house. Several enamellists from Limoges even created portraits for the French royal household. Today, enamel objects bearing the signature ‘IC’ can be found in international museum collections including the Louvre, the Frick Collection and the Walters Art Museum.

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Weinhold, op. cit., p. 114

2

Ibid., p. 11


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Damascene Mirror

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DA M A S C E N E M I R R O R

This mirror is an excellent example of a rarely preserved Italian furnishing made of steel, from the latter half of the 16th century. Damascened in gold, the front, back and both sides of the rectangular mirror frame are adorned with elaborate, GrecoRoman inspired foliage and geometric decorations characteristic of the decorative arts of the period. In the centre of the cornice crowning the mirror, a small figurine of a putto extravagantly flourishes a laurel wreath, a symbol of victory, success and achievement. The mirror decorations have many similarities with the damascened plates on the casket from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (fig. 1).

Italy, probably Milan Second half 16th century Steel damascened with gold Height: 30.5, width: 20 cm Provenance: Oscar Bondy Collection; Private American Collection.

The technique of damascening is believed to have originated in the Middle East and was named after the Syrian city of Damascus. While technically quite demanding and time consuming, the method facilitated a greater variety and complexity of designs, commendatory of both the object’s aesthetic splendour and the accomplished skills of its maker. Damascene surfaces are lavishly and often colourfully decorated, while also being very durable. The technique consisted of the inlaying or encrusting of precious metals onto iron or steel surfaces. In Europe, the most common process involved cross-hatching the iron surface using files to create puckered edges onto which the craftsmen could apply gold and silver leaf or wire that was then burnished flush with the surface. During the late Renaissance period the technique became particularly associated with Milanese metalworking, known for producing elaborate armour for the noblemen of Europe, as well as high quality iron and steel furniture and decorations. The northern Italian city of Milan was one of the most populous and wealthy western cities of the time. Its continuous prosperity and growth in the 16th century occurred in spite of periodic plague epidemics, as well as frequent battles during the so-called Italian wars. Vastly subsidised by Sicily, Naples and Spain throughout these turbulent times, the city maintained and even increased its importance in a political and economic sense, becoming a synonym for high skilled manufacturing and the production of luxurious goods in any material and supplying highly praised products to every European court.

Fig. 1. Casket, Italian, probably Milan, circa 1545–47, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. no. 56.139a,b

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Crucifixion Group with Christ and Mary Magdalene

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CRUCIFIXION GROUP WITH CHRIST A N D M A R Y M AG DA L E N E

The motif of the sinner Mary Magdalene kneeling before the Cross was very popular, especially in southern Germany. This is due to one magnificent example of such a group of figures. The famous Flemish-Italian Baroque artist Giambologna created several crucifixes that were to influence sculpture from the 1570s onwards. One is to be found today in the Jesuit church of Saint Michael’s in Munich. He executed the crucifix in 1594 in Florence. Giambologna’s German master pupil, Hans Reichle (Schongau 1565/70 –1642 Brixen) added the figure of Mary Magdalene in 1595. Her posture is dramatically moving and her imploring gaze looks up at Jesus’ face (fig. 1). She symbolises the faithful sinner seeking redemption.

Southern Germany Late 16 th/ early 17 th century Boxwood Heights: Christ: 26 cm, Maria Magdalene: 14.3 cm Added nipple inserts on figure of Christ and buttons on Mary Magdalene’s garment Related Literature: Giambologna. Triumph des Körpers, exh. cat., Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 27 June  – 17 September 2006, Milan 2006, pp. 162 – 65.

A present from Ferdinando de‘ Medici to William V, Duke of Bavaria, the crucifix was sent from Florence to Munich. It was intended to decorate William’s projected tomb in the Jesuit church that was built from 1583 onwards. The project, however, was never completed. Only the crucifix with the mourning figure of Mary Magdalene was installed in Saint Michael’s as a figurative group. Not only the Jesuits marvelled at this masterpiece there which soon became well-known beyond Munich. Numerous artists visited the church to look at the work that was praised for ‘the beauty of its craftsmanship and masterly execution’. 1 Another small Crucifixion group with Mary Magdalene, circa 1620, Southern Germany (Augsburg or Munich) is in the Sammlung Würth. (fig. 2)

Silberhirsch und Wunderprunk in der Kunstkammer Würth, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Würth, Schwäbisch Hall, 18 May 2015 – 10 January 2016, Passau 2015, pp. 168 – 169.

Jean de Boulogne who came from Flanders travelled from Doway to Italy where he called himself Giovanni da Bologna. While in the service of the Medicis he created the Rape of the Sabine Women – a group of figures now on the Piazza della Signoria in Florence. The group also became a model for later sculptors just like his depiction of Christ that reflects the characteristic Classical ideal of the human body. His small bronze crucifixes, made together with his workshop under Antonio Susini, became widely sought-after among art collectors.

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Cf. exh. cat., Vienna 2006, op. cit., p. 164 and note 26


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The sculptor of our crucifixion group certainly came from the southern German region. His work bears a characteristic individual style. One particular feature is the fine execution of detailing such as that on Mary Magdalene’s garment and her hair, as well as the tears on her face. The figure of Christ has notable ornamentation on the loin cloth and in the treatment of the hair and beard. Even the hair under his arms is carved; the nipples, however, have been inserted separately. To date it has not been possible to identify the sculptor.

Fig. 1. Crucifixion group in the Jesuit church of Saint Michael’s, Munich; Christ (1594) by Giovanni da Bologna (1529–1608); figure of Mary Magdalene (1595) by Hans Reichle (1565/70–1642), detail

Fig. 2. Crucifixion group with Mary Magdalene, circa 1620, Southern Germany (Augsburg or Munich), boxwood figures, walnut veneer pedestal, ebonised, 74 x 32 x 14 cm, Collection Würth, inv. no. 9357

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Christ Crucified Georg Petel ( AT T R I B U T E D T O )

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CHRIST CRUCIFIED

Christ as ‘Christo vivo’ with his head tilted and wide open eyes is looking up to the right. The body is wiry and very naturalistically carved. Christ’s full weight can be felt pulling down on the Cross.

GEORG PETEL attributed to Weilheim, 1601/02  –1634, Augsburg

Due to close stylistic features with other Christ Crucified figures by Georg Petel out of ivory, an attribution to his œuvre seems plausible.

Circa 1620 – 30 Boxwood Height: 29.8 cm

The smaller crucifix in the Treasury in the Munich Residenz 1 can be taken as a comparison, for example. The head is tilted to the other side, the pleading look – gazing upwards with wide open eyes – is similarly expressive, as are the contracted eyebrows and the open mouth that reveals the teeth. The torso is similarly worked with a very realistically executed ribcage. The right knee is also drawn forward slightly and the right foot placed partially over the left one. The folds of skin on the foot are equally drastically pulled together, being held in place with a nail. The modelling of the musculature on the reverse of the sculpture is similar.

Related Literature: Feuchtmayr Karl/Schädler, Alfred/Lieb, Norbert/Müller, Theodor. Georg Petel, 1601/2  –1634, Berlin 1973. Georg Petel, 1601/02 –1634. Bildhauer im Dreißigjährigen Krieg, exh. cat., Haus der Kunst, Munich, 9 May–19 August 2007, ed. by Krempel, León, Munich 2007. Georg Petel. Neue Forschungen, ed. by Krempel, León / Söding, Ulrich, Munich 2009.

There are also analogies to another work by Georg Petel, the scourging group in the National Museum of Bavaria in Munich, where Petel used wood as well as ivory. In this way, he effectively differentiated between the two henchmen carved in pearwood and the Corpus Christi fashioned in ivory. The delicately ridged puckering of the henchmen’s shirts correspond exactly to the folds on Christ’s loincloth.

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Feuchtmayr, Schädler, Lieb, Müller, op. cit., cat. no. 11, ill.; Georg Petel, exh. cat., 2007, op. cit., cat. no. 8, ill.


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Georg Petel is considered one of the great Baroque sculptors north of the Alps. In the 18th century he was referred to as the ‘German Michelangelo’,2 although he is relatively unknown in Germany today. He travelled to Italy, France and Flanders where he became friends with Peter Paul Rubens. Rubens owned at least three works in ivory by Petel3 and may have made him aware of the study of the nude that is particularly evident in Petel’s modelling of figures. From around 1620 onwards Petel travelled around the Netherlands, France (Paris in 1621) and Italy, having completed an apprenticeship, probably in the workshop of his guardian, the sculptor Bartholomäus Steinle in Weilheim, and with the court sculptor Christoph Angermair in Munich. Around 1622 – 24 evidence exists that he was in Genoa, Livorno and Rome.4 In 1625 he moved to Augsburg, was granted citizen’s rights and married there. He travelled repeatedly to Antwerp where he was in contact with Rubens in 1620, 1628 and probably again in 1630. Petel began his career primarily as a carver in ivory and especially of crucifixes. However, he also had no difficulty working on a larger scale, as several works, especially in Augsburg testify. He died at the young age of 33 in Augsburg, during the Thirty Years War, probably as a result of the Black Death.

Fig. 1 Georg Petel, The Scourging of Christ, circa 1624, Christ: ivory, height 55.9 cm; henchman on left: height 51.4 cm; henchman on right: height 49.8 cm, stained pearwood, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, on loan from the Kirchenrektorat Sankt Michael in Munich, inv. no. L NN 1351

Despite his short life his œuvre is extensive. A recurring theme is the Crucifixion of Christ, whom he depicts poignantly and with drastic naturalism.

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2

Georg Petel, exh. cat., 2007, op. cit., p. 8

3

Ibid., p. 20

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Ibid., p. 28


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Relief with Lot and his Daughters Daniel Neuberger the Younger ( AT T R I B U T E D T O )

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R E L I E F W I T H L O T A N D H I S DAU G H T E R S

The scene is erotically laden: two scantily clad young women have a rendezvous with an elderly man. One is holding a jug filled with wine; the other places her arm around the old figure who is obviously already drunk, as he approaches her with a lecherous look in his eye. The beauty, with a gossamer cloth draped over her thigh and arm that wraps around her body like a snake, has a Venus-like appearance – not only to the man at her side but, and in particular, to the viewer of this skillfully worked relief. The other female figure, also dressed like a goddess from Antiquity, is depicted in profile. She reveals her sensuously bared back, arm and shoulder as well as her right leg.

DA N I E L N E U B E R G E R T H E YO U N G E R attributed to Augsburg, 1621 –1674/81, Regensburg Mid 17 th century Polychrome wax relief with partial gilding Height: 41.8 cm, width: 32.5 cm Within the original frame, height: 62 cm, width: 52 cm Literature: Lipinska, Aleksandra. Moving Sculptures: Southern Netherlandish Alabasters from the 16 th to 17 th centuries in Central and Northern Europe, Leiden 2015, pp. 259 – 60, fig. 184.

What is actually shown here, however, is the story of Lot as described in the Book of Genesis, chapter 19:30 – 38. Lot has fled the lost city of Sodom together with his wife and his two daughters. During the escape from Sodom, Lot‘s wife turns into a pillar of salt. Lot and his daughters take shelter in Zoar, but afterwards go up into the mountains to live in a cave. One evening, Lot‘s eldest daughter gets Lot drunk and has sex with him without his knowledge. The following night, the younger daughter does the same. They both become pregnant; the older daughter gives birth to Moab, while the younger daughter gives birth to Ammon.

McGrath, Maeve. Daniel Neuberger the Younger and Anna Felicitas Neuberger. The Ciroplastic Œuvres 1621 – 1680 and 1650 –1731, Regensburg 2016, p. 82, fig. 24 and pp. 164 – 66, no. 6. Related Literature: Lessmann, Johanna and König-Lein, Susanne. Wachsarbeiten des 16. bis 20. Jahrhunderts, Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum Braunschweig, Sammlungskatalog Band IX, Braunschweig 2002.

Lot’s daughters see things pragmatically. As the only female survivors of the catastrophe, the destruction of Sodom, they are afraid that they are the last in the human race. In their desperation they decide to weaken their father’s will by plying him with wine before having intercourse with his own offspring.

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During the Counter-Reformation, Lot’s relationship to his daughters, born of pragmatism and desperation, is interpreted moralistically. Both the act of incest with the father as well as intercourse without mutual consent with someone intentionally made drunk are taken as being symptomatic of the Catholic Church’s immoral behaviour: luxury items such as jewellery and the valuable jug underline this scene which, in addition to being a depiction from the Bible, is also an allegory of sexual pleasure. The beautiful, naturalistically depicted, naked women’s bodies stand for lust and embellishments of worldly trumpery. Lot’s two daughters, however, make an appealing subject for admirers of art, readily revealing the double standards of the times with the viewer shuddering at the horror and simultaneous sensuality of the scene. Fig. 1. Lot and his Daughters, alabaster relief, South-Netherlandish or German, circa 1560, height: 42.2 cm, width: 29.2 cm, Herzog Anton UlrichMuseum, Braunschweig (Brunswick), inv. no. Ste 27

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For this depiction the artist uses one of the oldest raw materials – beeswax. Since Antiquity wax has been valued as a material for its aesthetic and intrinsic qualities. Purified and bleached wax bears similarities to the human skin like no other material used in sculpture. Wax is easy to model, cast and rework at a later stage, something that is not possible with clay or cast metals. Wax can easily be mixed with pigments as well or painted in different colours. By mixing additives wax can also be made softer or harder. Every workshop had its own recipes. In his treatise on sculpture, Della Scultura, Giorgio Vasari (1511 –1574) writes that wax becomes softer after adding fat, less malleable after adding terpentine and hard when mixed with pitch.1 Wax was also a popular material for portrait medallions.

1

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Lessmann, op. cit., p. 12


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There are three reliefs carved in stone with the same composition that exist: one is a marble relief in the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and two almost identical alabaster reliefs are to be found in Schloss Löwenburg, Kassel, and in the Herzog Anton UlrichMuseum, Braunschweig (Brunswick, fig. 1). Aleksandra Lipinska argues that all three reliefs were created by the same sculptor who probably came from the Netherlands and was active in Germany in the middle of the 16th century.2

As in the case of our wax relief it has a rocky background whereas the other versions made of stone depict the burning of Sodom in the distance. The details in the bronze and wax reliefs also show a number of similarities such as the armlet worn by the daughter on the left, the cloth pulled up over the upper arm on the right and the shape of the vessel. Even the dimensions are identical. Neuberger and Heroldt both worked at the court in Vienna at the same time and certainly knew each other. It can also be assumed that Heroldt, who made his casts based on the works of other artists, picked up Neuberger’s subject. Whether Neuberger based his work on a print or whether he was familiar with the Berlin relief which has the same dimensions, is unknown. Whatever the case, Neuberger modernised and modified the composition of the marble relief which had been created 100 years previously.

Another composition addressing the same subject is a bronze relief that is now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. It was made in the imperial foundry by Balthasar Heroldt. Heroldt worked in Vienna from 1654 onwards as a ‘weapon or bronze caster’ 3 where he earned 400 fl. In a list with works that he cast in 1657 for the imperial ‘Kunstkammer’, a relief with ‘Lot and his Daughters’ is mentioned that can be identified as the relief in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

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Daniel Neuberger the Younger worked as a sculptor and wax embosser in Augsburg, Regensburg and Vienna. From 1661 he worked as wax embosser at the court of Emperor Ferdinand III and received a monthly wage. Among other works, he created 110 small wax reliefs for Ferdinand III with scenes taken from Ovid, on which his daughter Anna Felicitas also worked. These reliefs are now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

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2

Lipinska, op. cit., pp. 257ff., esp. p. 259

3

Ibid., p. 18 and p. 259, fig. 183 and p. 260, notes 31 + 32


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Relief with Saint Sebastian Christoph Daniel Schenck ( AT T R I B U T E D T O )

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RELIEF WITH SAINT SEBASTIAN

Saint Sebastian, in extreme pain, is bound with his back to a tree; both arms are pulled backwards and are tied to the stumps of branches with ropes. The position of his arms forces the saint, shown only as a half-length figure, to twist his naked torso which is covered with bleeding arrow wounds. His head leans to the side and back; his eyes look heavenwards. In addition to the martyrdom, conveyed through the saint’s expressive features, Schenck accentuates the young man’s youthful beauty through the head of curls and the red lips.

C H R I S T O P H DA N I E L S C H E N C K attributed to Constance, 1633 –1691 Circa 1680 Fruitwood, with the original polychromy Height: 15.5 cm, width: 11.3 cm Provenance: Private Collection, South Germany.

Among the works definitively attributed to Christoph Daniel Schenck there are several depictions of Saint Sebastian. The most important is doubtlessly the so-called ‘Stuttgart Sebastian statuette’. 1 The ivory figure is signed by the artist and dated – the blackened engraving on the stone at the saint’s feet reads: ‘C.D. Schenck / inv et sculpt. / 19. Nov. Anno 1675 / Constantiae’. The masterly execution of pathos, the expression of suffering borrowed from Laocoön and the full head of hair are striking. Behind this is the artist’s intention to shock the pious viewer to the core when faced with the tormented martyr in his role as the imitatio Christi. To move believers emotionally and lead them to the ‘true faith’ of the Catholic Church, was an artistic concept of the Counter-Reformation used to great effect.

Related Literature: Christoph Daniel Schenck 1633 –1691, exh. cat., Konstanz / Freiburg / Stuttgart, Sigmaringen 1996.

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Compared to the so-called ‘Stuttgart Sebastian statuette’ mentioned above, our relief is probably created later. Schenck makes use of the stylistic motifs available with masterly confidence: the martyr’s tree, suggesting a landscape, is set against a blue background covered with punchmarks – which are typical of many of Schenck’s works – and that simultaneously creates a spatial architecture for the pictorial surface. The head, dramatically stretched backwards, is modelled once again on the figure of Laocoön, to which Fritz Fischer refers in the exhibition catalogue of works on Christoph Daniel Schenck. 2 The motif here, however, is artistically further refined. Fig. 1. C. D. Schenck, Saint Sebastian, ivory, signed and dated 1675, Württembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart, inv. no. 1954–366

Fig. 2. Laocoön Group, detail, Roman marble copy based on Greek prototype, 1st century BC or AD, Vatican Museums, Rome

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1

Christoph Daniel Schenck, exh. cat., 1996, op. cit., cat. no. 1, pp. 114 –16, colour plate 1

2

Ibid., p. 116


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Saint Sebastian

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SAINT SEBASTIAN

Saint Sebastian is shown in a marked contrapposto against the tree where he suffered as a martyr after being shot with arrows. His right hand is bound above him to a fork in a branch. The anatomy of the figure – unclothed except for a loincloth – is depicted in detail and the body language expressively heightened.

Southern Germany (Bamberg?) 1689 On the pedestal coat of arms of the Prince-Bishop of Bamberg, Marquard Sebastian Schenk von Stauffenberg Inscribed ‘Vorch’ and dated ‘1689’

The coat of arms on the pedestal refers to the person who commissioned the work – the Prince-Bishop of Bamberg, Marquard Sebastian Schenk von Stauffenberg (Eichstätt 1644 – 1693 Bamberg) who held this office from 1683 onwards.

Fruitwood, on the original pedestal Height of figure: 33.5 cm Height of pedestal: 13.5 cm Provenance: Commissioned in 1689 by the Prince-Bishop of Bamberg, Marquard Sebastian Schenk von Stauffenberg (Eichstätt 1644 –1693 Bamberg); Private Collection, South Germany.

At the age of nine Marquard Sebastian Schenk von Stauffenberg was already in receipt of a canon’s stipend in Bamberg and Würzburg. He started his studies in Ingolstadt in 1658 and took his vows as a subdeacon in 1672. In 1665 he inherited the socalled ‘Echterhaus’ in Judengasse in Bamberg that has since been known as the ‘Stauffenberghaus’. After his father’s death in 1679 he took on the Amerdingen manorial estate near Nördlingen, together with his two brothers, that had been in the ownership of the Schenk von Stauffenberg family since 1566.

Related Literature: Wunder, Gerd. ‘Marquard Sebastian’, in: Neue Deutsche Biographie 16 (1990), p. 238 f. (online version); URL: http://www.deutsche-biographie.de/.html Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte, Klöster in Bayern, Forchheim, Franziskanerkloster, (online version); URL: https://www.hdbg.eu/kloster/index.php/detail/ geschichte?id=KS0099

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Marquard was elected prince-bishop in 1683 but was not ordained as a priest until 1687. He was considered an able diplomat and a benefactor of the order of which he was head. He also successfully managed the family’s estates. By increasing revenue he considerably reduced the debts incurred by his predecessor, Prince-Bishop Peter Philipp von Dernbach and reformed the administrative structure of the bishopric. The improved financial situation put him in a position to be able to commission a number of works of art. He had Saint Martin’s church in Bamburg built as well as the Franciscan monastery in Forchheim. Plans were drafted in 1685 to convert Seehof Palace into a summer residence for the prince-bishops that, revealingly, has gone down in history as the ‘Marquardsburg’. He contracted the Italian architect Antonio Petrini to carry out the work together with a number of other artists and sought the advice of the Dientzenhofer family of builders and architects from Upper Bavaria.

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The foundation stone for the Franciscan monastery in Forchheim was laid in 1684 on behalf of the Prince-Bishop of Bamberg, Marquard Sebastian Schenk von Stauffenberg. On 6 April the following year, building work on the monastery church began in the presence of the prince-bishop himself. Marquard Sebastian was also the benefactor of the Sebastian Chapel that was dedicated to his namesake. The completed monastery church and the chapel were inaugurated on 9 October 1693, five months before the prince-bishop’s death. On his deathbed Marquard Sebastian stipulated that his heart be interred in the monastery church in his chapel.

Fig. 1. Church of the Franciscan convent in Forchheim, entrance with the coat of arms of the Prince-Bishop of Bamberg, Marquard Sebastian Schenk von Stauffenberg: parted quarterly; alternately the coat of arms of the Stauffenberg family (lion top and bottom, bar in the middle) and the coat of arms of the bishopric of Bamberg (lion diagonally crossed by bar)

Above the portal of the monastery church that is dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, the founder’s coat of arms can be seen and the Latin form of his name read in the inscription ‘Marquardo Sebastiano’ on the frieze behind. The coat of arms shows the two lions from the Stauffenberg family crest as well as a single lion for the bishopric of Bamberg in keeping with the arms of alliance at Schloss Seehof. As already mentioned, the coat of arms of the Schenk von Stauffenberg family, with an imperial crown above, decorates the pedestal on which our figure of Sebastian stands. This symbolises the diocese of Bamberg as an imperial prince-bishopric. By reason of the inclusion of the family coat of arms, this figure of the princebishop’s namesake was probably intended for Marquard’s private apartments although a place on an altar in the Sebastian Chapel would also be plausible.

The inscription ‘Vorch’ that can be seen on the coat of arms is an abbreviation of the name of the town Forchheim – the most important fortified settlement within the prince-bishopric of Bamberg. As Bamberg did not offer sufficient protection from enemy attacks, the prince-bishops of Bamberg withdrew to Forchheim in unsettled times together with the cathedral treasure. Erected as an imperial stronghold, Forchheim became a seat of the prince-bishops in the late 14th century. Prince-Bishop Marquard’s sister, Katharina Sophie von Eyb, had a large residence built there in 1685 with her brother’s help that, from 1694 onwards, was used as an official seat of the prince-bishops.

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The name of the artist who carved this figure of the saint with such masterly skill is unknown. Prince-Bishop Marquard would certainly not have commissioned artists from Bamberg or Forchheim alone. He maintained close contact with his family’s roots in Swabia, so it is equally possible that it was made by an unknown sculptor from that region.

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Ceres, Allegory of Summer Ferdinand Tietz

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Not far from Bamberg is the former summer residence of the prince-bishops, the beautiful palace known as Schloss Seehof. It is an impressive testimony to the once so impressive court upheld by the bishopric and, at the same time, it is the artistic legacy of one of the greatest Rococo artists of southern Germany, Ferdinand Tietz, who originally came from Bohemia.

CERES, ALLEGORY OF SUMMER FERDINAND TIETZ

Holešice, Bohemia, 1708 –1777, Seehof near Bamberg, Germany Circa 1760 Height: 30 cm Bozzetto, lindenwood with the original polychromy to imitate sandstone

Born in Holešice in 1708, as Ferdinand Dietz, he later changed the spelling of his surname to ‘Tietz’. He came from a family of craftsmen; his father was a sculptor and had a workshop in Jezeří. Although Ferdinand was later to become a successful sculptor there is no documentary evidence covering the first third of the artist’s lifetime. He most probably went to Vienna where he met the sculptor Johann Wolfgang von der Auwera (1708  –1756), as stylistic parallels reveal. It is not until 1736, when he was twentyeight years old, that the artist is mentioned in archival records. He worked under Balthasar Neumann (1687 –1753) on large projects in the Würzburg Residenz, as shown on various invoices. In 1747 Tietz was summoned to Bamberg by Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp Anton von Franckenstein (1695  –1753) who commissioned him to devise a comprehensive plan of figures for the park at Schloss Seehof. This project represents the highlight of the park’s overall design and Tietz’s artistic breakthrough. Together with his workshop, Tietz – who was appointed court sculptor in 1748 – completed some 400 masterly worked and powerfully modelled sculptures of playfully exuberant figures captured in motion. They were to make the artist famous well beyond the region.

Provenance: Jacques Kugel, circa since the 1960s; By descent. Related Literature: Brassat, Wolfgang. Ferdinand Tietz, 1708  –1777: Symposion und Ausstellung anlässlich des 300. Geburtstags des Rokoko-Bildhauers, Petersberg 2009. Lindemann, Bernd Wolfgang. Ferdinand Tietz 1708 –1777, Weißenhorn 1989, cf. fig. 14 (Allegory of Summer), 109 (Pan), 342 (Mercury). Trenschel, Hans-Peter. Die Bozzetti-Sammlung – Kleinbildwerke des 18. Jahrhunderts im Mainfränkischen Museum Würzburg, Würzburg 1987.

In 1754 Tietz was called to Trier by the prince-bishop Franz Georg von Schönborn (1682 –1756) and did not return to Bamberg until 1760 where, in the meantime, Adam Friedrich von Seinsheim (1708 –1779), Prince-Bishop of Würzburg, had taken over the prince-bishopric office in Bamberg as well, as the position had become vacant.

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In 1767 Ferdinand Tietz was also appointed court sculptor in Würzburg. However, after completing his commissions for Würzburg and Bamberg he did not receive any further work of note. His playful style reflecting the zeitgeist of the Rococo period was no longer in keeping with the increasingly sobre and seemingly harsh lines of emerging art tastes. Tietz died in 1777 at the age of 69 in Seehof near Bamberg. Our figurative group is a so-called bozzetto, a small sculptural work made of lindenwood used as a model that would have been presented to the patron who gave the commission, presumably Adam Friedrich von Seinsheim, before work started on the large sculpture in stone.

Fig. 1. Allegory of Summer, Ferdinand Tietz and workshop, 1765–66, sandstone sculpture, Veitshöchheim, garden, now in Würzburg, Museum für Franken, Staatliches Museum für Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte

A youthful-looking, nude woman is depicted in a dynamic pose standing on an octagonal pedestal with sweeping concave curves and a central floral relief. A small putto and woman in peasant’s garb kneeling at her feet proffering a sheaf of grain, form her entourage. The ripe corn is an attribute of the Roman goddess Ceres and reveals the sensual beauty as an allegory of summer.

In 1765 Seinsheim commissioned Tietz to submit new designs for the court garden at Veitshöchheim near Würzburg. To accompany the architectural plans he devised a comprehensive sculptural agenda. The court sculptor made a major contribution to peopling the garden with allegorical stone figures from mythology between 1765 and 1768. Upon completion in 1776, some 300 figures decorated the garden, of which some 200 have survived. They were originally painted à la porcelaine to make them look like China porcelain. That would certainly have made an impressive sight.

The bozzetto is similar to an allegory of summer that Tietz made in 1765 – 67 for the court garden at Veitshöchheim in which the motif of the kneeling peasant woman with a gift of grain also appears (fig. 1). The small putto, however, is not included and the goddess is clothed. The virtuosity and dynamism of the small sculpted work are lacking; instead the garden figure exudes a calm majesty. In the case of the garden figure Tietz also eschewed the sensually erotic aesthetic and gleeful exuberance that characterise the bozzetto, presumably at the request of the patron. Due to the work’s high artistic quality and taking stylistic comparisons into consideration we assume that this bozzetto is a work by Ferdinand Tietz himself. In all probability, the Ceres group served as a model for the Allegory of Summer in the garden at Veitshöchheim.

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Relief with the Lamentation Balthasar Permoser

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R E L I E F W I T H T H E L A M E N TAT I O N

The carved relief, partly modelled in the round, depicts the mourning of the death of Christ – the so-called ‘Lamentation’, after the body of Christ is taken down from the Cross and before it is laid in the tomb. Although not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, the Lamentation, as part of the burial ritual, fits well into the story of the Passion and has been represented in the visual arts since the Middle Ages. As the subject does not form part of the established canon, the figures comprising the group of mourners vary. In addition to the Virgin Mary and John, the Beloved Disciple, other women who witnessed the Crucifixion are sometimes also depicted (Mark 15:47; Luke 23:55). Occasionally the group of mourners is expanded to include Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathia who took Christ down from the Cross and later laid him in the tomb. The place is not defined. The group of mourners is variously shown directly beneath the Cross, next to an empty sarcophagus or in the burial chamber.

B A LT H A S A R P E R M O S E R Kammer near Otting, Chiemgau, 1651 –1732, Dresden Rome, circa 1680 Ivory Height: 17.4 cm, width: 11 cm, depth: 2.5 cm Provenance: According to family tradition owned by Pedro de Sousa Holstein, 1st Duke of Palmela (1781 –1850); Through inheritance Manuel de Souza e Holstein-Beck (1932 –2011), 4th Duke of Póvoa; By descent until 2020. Related Literature: Burk, Jens Ludwig. ‘Anmerkungen zu einigen Braunschweiger und Dresdner Werken des Kursächsischen Hofbildhauers Balthasar Permoser (1651 –1732)’, in: Herzog Anton Ulrich zu Gast in Dresden, exh. cat., Dresden Residenzschloss, Dresden 2012, pp. 33 –53.

Mary, John and Mary Magdalene, mourning the death of Christ, are shown in this small relief. Mary, overcome by grief, gazes heavenwards, her arms folded across her chest. A sword, thrust into her breast, symbolises the pain she is suffering. Such a depiction is known as a ‘Mater dolorosa’ – Our Lady of Sorrows – and is based on the prophecy of Simeon: “ … a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also” (Luke 2:35).

Schmidt, Eike D. ‘Ein dokumentierter Kalvarienberg aus Elfenbein von Balthasar Permoser in Florenz’, in: Pantheon, 55 (1997), pp. 91 –112. Siegfried Asche, Balthasar Permoser. Leben und Werk, Berlin 1978.

The emotional pain of the mourners, effectively expressed through posture and gesture, is given special emphasis. Bold sweeping lines tie the figures in closely to one another and lend expression to the drama of the moment. The ladder used for the descent from the Cross on Calvary can be seen top left in the delicate bas-relief. There is also the suggestion of a sarcophagus. Grieving putti and the small faces of seraphim people the sky.

Theuerkauff, Christian. ‘Zu Francis van Bossuit (1635 – 1692), beeldsnyder in yvoor’, in: Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, 37, Cologne 1975, pp. 119  – 82.

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Mary Magdalene is shown here in a modified way sitting on the ground; the Virgin Mary is being supported by two women while John is about to place the corpse in the sarcophagus. The treatment of the folds in the garments and the working of the hair are comparable. The mourning putti and seraphim in the heavens ressemble the chorus of putti in the ‘Lamentation’. The execution of the landscape in the background and that of individual motifs such as the plants on the ground and Mary Magdalene’s ointment vessel are even identical. Permoser created the London relief around 1677–80 in Rome where he went in 1676 after his apprenticeship in Salzburg and Vienna. He studied the ivory carvings there with great intensity and, presumably, had contact with the well-known and highly skilled Flemish ivory sculptor Francis van Bossuit (1635 – 92) who was also in Rome at that time. Permoser must have known Bossuit’s relief of the ‘Entombment’ (circa 1675)1 as he adopted certain motifs, such as the putto at the very front of the relief supporting Christ’s limp body.

Fig. 1. Balthasar Permoser, The Entombment, 23 x 14 cm, circa 1677/1680, ivory, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, inv. no. 30/1949

Permoser’s work attracted the attention of the Electoral Prince Frederick Augustus, later Elector of Saxony and King Augustus II of Poland, when on his grand tour to Italy in 1687 – 91. In 1689 the Elector called Permoser to Dresden as sculptor to the court.

Figures carved almost in the round that step out of the virtual plane of the relief and draw closer to the viewer are juxtaposed with the graphically delicate, partly translucent and wafer-thin working of the ivory. This is evidence of a virtuosity exhibited by only a few ivory carvers in the 17th century.

Through his decorative sculptural work for the Zwinger, carried out from 1690 onwards during the reign of King Augustus the Strong, Permoser was to leave his mark on the city of Dresden like no other.

Stylistically, the relief can clearly be classified to the œuvre of Balthasar Permoser. The relief of the ‘Entombment’ in the Victoria & Albert Museum (fig. 1), firmly ascribed to Balthasar Permoser, is very similar to the ‘Lamentation’.

While in Dresden Permoser also continued to work in ivory as evidenced by his famous small ivory figures created together with the Dresden court goldsmith Johann Melchior Dinglinger (1664 –1731).

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Francis van Bossuit, Entombment of Christ, c. 1675, ivory, 25.8 x 15.5 x 3.4 cm, The Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario, inv. no. AGOID.29181, link: https://ago.ca/collection/object/agoid.29174


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Relief with the Rape of Europa Dominikus Stainhart

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R E L I E F W I T H T H E R A P E O F E U R O PA

Europa was a Phoenician princess with whom Zeus fell in love. While playing with her companions on the beach of Sidon the god changed his appearance into that of a white bull and approached the maiden, lay down and let himself be stroked. After Europa had climbed, quite unsuspectingly, onto the bull’s back he ran off with her into the water and swam away. He reached the island of Crete where he revealed his true identity. She bore him three sons: Sarpedon, Minos, the later king of Crete, and Rhadamanthus, the judge of the dead.

D O M I N I K U S S TA I N H A R T Weilheim, 1655 –1712, Munich Late 17 th century Ivory Height: 10.8 cm, width: 20 cm Monogram in the lower, left-hand corner: ‘DS’ Related Literature: Kessler, Hans-Ulrich. ‘Die Elfenbeinreliefs aus der Werkstatt der Gebrüder Stainhart’, in: Elfenbein, Alabaster und Porzellan aus der Sammlung des fürstbischöflichen Ministers Ferdinand von Plettenberg und der Freiherren von Ketteler, Stadtmuseum Münster, Patrimonia 193, Kulturstiftung der Länder, 2001, pp. 48 –73.

Stainhart chose the dramatic moment of the abduction: Zeus, in the form of the mighty bull, carries the beautiful young princess over the stormy seas. Stainhart shows Europa’s distraught, gesticulating companions at the front of the composition in an extremely convincing manner.

Theuerkauff, Christian. ‘Kunststücke von Helfenbein. Zum Werk der Gebrüder Stainhart’, in: Alte und Moderne Kunst, Vienna, 16 (1972), 124/5, part 1, pp. 22 – 29, part II, pp. 30 – 33.

The relief is characterised by the composition of its pictorial narrative. The dynamic, animated figures in the foreground are virtually completely undercut and almost freestanding. By contrast, the execution of the middle ground, with the depiction of Europa and the bull, as well as the background, is almost flat. These compositional features are typical of the ivory carver Dominikus Stainhart who signed the relief, below right, with his monogram ‘DS’. The faces with straight noses, the hairstyles with plaits and ribbons, the draping of the garments and the furrows in the surface of the tree and water all point to the style of this sculptor from Upper Bavaria.

Feuchtmayr, Karl. ‘Dominicus Stainhart’, in: Thieme, Ulrich/Becker, Felix (eds), Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, vol. 31, Leipzig 1937, pp. 450 – 451.

Dominikus Stainhart came from a family of carvers from Weilheim. From 1674 until 1682 he travelled around Italy with his brother, Franz (1651 –1695). Evidence exists that he was in Rome from 1678 until 1680 where he worked for the princely families of Radziwill and Colonna.

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In early 1683 Dominikus sought a position at the Bavarian Court in Munich but without success. Nevertheless he sold a series of six reliefs depicting tales from the Book of Moses to the Elector of Bavaria, Max Emanuel.3 Around 1792 he delivered two pieces of ivory 4 to the ducal ‘Kunstkammer’ in Munich and after his death his wife received payment for further four reliefs. The Bayerisches Nationalmuseum houses other works by Stainhart including one relief signed ‘D. Stainhart’ and three reliefs monogrammed ‘DS’: Diana and her Nymphs Surprised by Satyrs, Venus and the Dead Adonis, Apollo Slaying Coronis, and Apollo and Daphne – all originally from the ‘Stroganoff Collection, Leningrad’.5

Fig. 1. Dominikus Stainhart, attributed to, The Rape of the Sabine Women, ivory relief, circa 1700, height: 11.5 cm, width: 16.8 cm, Collection in the Monastery Saint Florian, Linz, inv. no. Pl65.

A display cabinet that Dominikus decorated with ivory reliefs can still be seen in the Palazzo Colonna. It comprises a large, arched relief with a sculpted depiction of Michelangelo’s ‘Last Judgment’ and twenty-seven, small-format reliefs showing scenes from the Old and the New Testament. The overall composition for the display cabinet was designed by the architect Carlo Fontana who presumably specified the reliefs to be selected.1

Apart from these reliefs in Munich and the one presented here, no other works are known which are signed or have a monogram. The attribution of the majority of works to Stainhart is based on stylistic criteria. The four reliefs from the Stroganoff Collection and the Rape of the Sabine Women in the Monastery Saint Florian in Linz (fig. 1) are stylistically the closest ones to our relief. Further works by Dominikus Stainhart can be found in numerous collections such as that in the Residenz in Munich, in the Liebieghaus Frankfurt, in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, the Wallace Collection, London, in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna and in Klosterneuburg.

In 1682 both brothers returned home to Weilheim and in 1690 Dominikus moved to Munich where he is mentioned by name as being on the committee of the Guild of Sculptors in Munich in 1705.2 This not only suggests that he was a member but also testifies to his standing as a sculptor.

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1

Theuerkauff, op.cit., pp. 22f. and ill. 3

2

Feuchtmayr, op. cit., p. 450

3

These are now in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich

4

‘2 helffenpainene stuck’, Feuchtmayr, op. cit., p. 450

5

Acquired in 1931 by the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich; Diana and her Nymphs Surprised by Satyrs, monogrammed ‘DS’, c. 1690 – 1700, inv. no. 31/273; Venus and the Dead Adonis, monogrammed ‘DS’, inv. no. 31/272; Apollo Slaying Coronis, monogrammed ‘DS‘, inv. no. 31/271; Apollo and Daphne signed ‘D.Stainhart’ 31/270


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Frederik V, King of Denmark Johann Christoph Ludwig Lücke

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F R E D E R I K V, K I N G O F D E N M A R K

This allegory of a ruler depicts Frederik V (born 1723 in Copenhagen) who bore the title ‘King of Denmark and Norway, Duke of Schleswig and Holstein and Count of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst’ from 1746 until his death in 1766. Its similarity to contemporary portraits leaves no doubt as to its attribution. A further clue can be found in the monogram ligature on the sword’s handguard. Frederik V reputedly wore the Order of the Dannebrog on his chest. However, on this statuette, it is not the Order of the Dannebrog that is shown but the Order of the White Eagle that was worn during the same period by the Electors of Saxony.

JOHANN CHRISTOPH LUDWIG LÜCKE Dresden, 1705 –1780, Danzig Copenhagen, circa 1752 –1754 Signed ‘Lŭdewig von Lücke.Fe:’ on the right-hand side of the base; the hand guard of the sword bears an interlaced monogram ‘F5’ Ivory Height: 26 cm Provenance: Collection of Henry Makins, London, 1930s, thereafter by descent; sold at Christie’s London, 2 July 1997, lot 159 (erroneously as Friedrich Christian Kurfürst of Saxony); Collection Emminger, Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

It is very probable that Lücke wanted to offer his services to the Court of Copenhagen through the presentation of this figure. Having inadvertently carved the order – the all-so-important ruler’s symbol – incorrectly, this work was presumably rejected and did not remain in Copenhagen.

Related Literature: Hein, Jørge. Ivories and Narwhal Tusks at Rosenborg Castle, Catalogue of Carved and Turned Ivories and Narwhal Tusks in the Royal Danish Collection 1600 –1875, Copenhagen 2018.

The monarch is stepping over a figure crouching on the ground, his gaze directed into the distance. He is dressed in full regalia. Between the folds of his ermine-lined cloak, the star-shaped order is visible. He is carrying a sword at his side that bears the monogram ‘F5’, for Frederik V, on the handguard. The Danish kings always used the first letter of their name with the respective numeral as their monogram.

Kappel, Jutta. Elfenbeinkunst im Grünen Gewölbe zu Dresden. Geschichte einer Sammlung. Wissenschaftlicher Bestandskatalog – Statuetten, Figurengruppen, Reliefs, Gefäße, Varia, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden 2017. Becher, Beate. ‘Lücke Ludwig’ in: Neue Deutsche Biographie 15 (1987), pp. 448 – 49 (online version) https://www.deutsche-biographie.de/pnd132605872.html Theuerkauff, Christian, ‘Johann Christoph Ludwig Lücke, Ober-Modell-Meister und Inventions-Meister in Meissen, Ober-Direktor zu Wien’ in: Alte und Moderne Kunst, issue 183, Vienna 1982, pp. 21– 32.

It seems as if the monarch does not even notice the uglylooking, unclothed old woman lying at his feet. This figure, the antithesis of the good-looking, strong ruler is, in fact, an allegory of envy. The old woman has torn her own heart out of her chest and is holding it in her hand as she takes her last breath.

Theuerkauff, Christian, ‘Einige Bildnisse, Allegorien und Kuriositäten von Johann Christoph Ludwig Lücke (um 1703 –1780)’ in: Alte und Moderne Kunst, issue 174 –75, Vienna 1981, pp. 27– 38. Lier, Hermann Arthur,‘Lücke Ludwig’ in: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (1906), (online version) https://www.deutsche-biographie.de/pnd132605872.html

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The group of figures is signed ‘Lŭdewig von Lücke.Fe:’ on the base. Johann Christoph Ludwig Lücke, a sculptor and carver of small figures, was born around 1703, probably in Dresden. He worked as an apprentice under Balthasar Permoser or the ivory carver Carl August Lücke the Elder, who was probably his father or uncle. Afterwards, as a journeyman, Lücke went to France, Holland and England. In 1728 he was called to work as a modeller at the Meissen porcelain manufactory and, from 1729 onwards, worked independently as an ivory carver in Dresden. At this time at the latest he was in contact with Balthasar Permoser. In the following years Lücke repeatedly applied for the position of court sculptor in Dresden without success. Nevertheless, he successfully sold his works, including ‘Die Zeit hebt die gesunkene Kunst’ (Time raises foundered art; 1736)1 and an ivory crucifix (1737). In a description of the ‘Grünes Gewölbe’ (Green Vault) from 1739 it was ‘praised to the highest degree’.2 Today, it is one of the major exhibits in the Dresden ivory collection.

Signature on the base

Monogram ‘F5’, for Frederik V, on the hand guard of the sword

Evidence exists that Lücke subsequently worked in various different places, including Schwerin, Saint Petersburg and Hamburg. He worked once again as a porcelain modeller in Vienna and Fürstenberg. The search for commissions and a permanent position led to a certain restlessness. Frederik V 1746–1766, 1/48 Thaler, 1762, Oldenburg

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Thanks to the assistance of Count Waldemar Schmettau,3 Lücke left Hamburg for Copenhagen in 1752. For an annual salary of 600 thalers and the title ‘Ober Kunst Cämmerier’ (court master of the arts) he was to produce porcelain that was to be ‘at least as good as that of Meissen’.4 However, the samples of his work were not sufficiently appreciated and once again nothing came of a permanent appointment.

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1

Signed I.C.L. Lücke, dated 1736, SKD, Grünes Gewölbe, Dresden, inv. no. II 337, Kappel 2017, p. 335f

2

Kappel, op. cit., p. 358

3

Theuerkauff, op. cit., p. 28

4

Ibid.


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Lücke continued to work in ivory at the same time, as evidenced by the small ivory sculpture ‘Der Erbprinz als Wickelkind’ (The hereditary prince as a babe-in-arms) that is now to be found in the collection in Rosenborg Castle.5 He created a relief portrait of Frederik V in clay during this period that was probably produced in series and of which three copies are known today.6 It is very likely that Lücke wanted to recommend himself as an ivory carver at the court in Copenhagen with this allegory of the Danish king as a ruler. After his works in porcelain had met with so little approval he then demonstrated his far greater talent as an ivory carver with this figure. Its artful execution, its delicately reproduced detailing and its exceptional iconography are distinguishing features of this incomparable masterpiece. The ruler, who was above envy and malice, was charitable towards the artist Lücke as well and later granted him an annual pension of 400 thalers.

Fig. 1. Terracotta sculpture by Jacques François Joseph Saly, Kastrup(?), 1754, height 101 cm, The David Collection, Copenhagen, inv. no. B 416 This bust of Frederick V of Denmark shows physiognomic similarities to the figure in our ivory group. Here you can also see the correctly depicted Order of the Dannebrog on the cloak.

Frederik V 1746–1766, courant-ducat, 1760, Copenhagen

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5

The heir presumptive Frederik (1753 – 1805) as a babe-in-arms, ivory, 17.8 x 5.9 x 4.3, 1754?, signed L. von Lückefecit, Rosenborg Castle, inv. no. 13 – 136, cf. Hein, op. cit., no 245, p. 371f, with ill.

6

Theuerkauff, op. cit., p. 28, with ill.; one terracotta relief is in the Museum Schloss Gottorf, inv. no. 1971/165


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Publishing Credits Julius Böhler Kunsthandlung GmbH Unterer Seeweg 4 82319 Starnberg Phone: + 49 (0) 81 51 55 92 53 Fax: + 49 (0) 81 51 26 83 17 E-Mail: info@boehler-art.com www.boehler-art.com Blumka 222 Central Park South, #3 New York, NY 10019 Phone: + 1 212 734 32 22 E-Mail: info@blumkagallery.com www.blumkagallery.com Editor Florian Eitle-Böhler Text Eva Bitzinger Zeljka Himbele Julia Scheid Translation Christopher Wynne, Bad Tölz Photography www.andreashuber-fotografie.de Vera Miljkovic, New York Graphic design Matthias Schilling, D-signbureau Production Vogl GmbH & Co KG, Zorneding © 2022 Julius Böhler Kunsthandlung GmbH, Starnberg and Blumka, New York All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission ISBN: 978-3-00-071129-9

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Photo Credits © Archivio fotografico delle Gallerie Estensi – Su concessione del Ministero della Cultura, Foto Mauro Magliani, cat. no. 17, fig. 1

© Gabinetto Fotografico delle Gallerie degli Uffizi, cat. no. 5, fig. 1 + 2

© Augustiner-Chorherrenstift Sankt Florian, courtesy Harald Ehrl, cat. no. 27, fig. 1

© Getty Museum, Los Angeles, courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program, cat. no. 7, figs 1 + 2

© Bayerisches Nationalmuseum München, Krack, Bastian, cat. no. 21, fig. 1, cat. no. 15, fig. 1

© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection, cat. no. 8, fig. 1 © HLMD, photo: Wolfgang Fuhrmannek, cat. no. 11, fig. 1

© Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung, Pfeuffer / Gruber / Scherf / Herrmann, cat. no. 25, fig. 1

© KHM – Museumsverband, cat. no. 17, fig. 2

© Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MFILM E 040339. L.p. 64, cat. no. 18, fig. 1

© Landesmuseum Württemberg, P. Frankenstein / H. Zwietasch, cat. no. 23, fig. 1

© Bildarchiv Foto Marburg / Michael Jeiter, cat. no. 12, figs 2 + 3

© Musée du Louvre, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Hervé Lewandowski / Art Resource, New York, cat. no. 3, fig. 1

© bpk / Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum / C. Cordes, cat. no. 22, fig. 1

© The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY, cat. no. 5, fig. 3; cat. no.15, fig. 3; cat. no. 19, fig. 1

© bpk / Musée du Louvre, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Martine Beck-Coppola, cat. no. 2, fig. 2

© Rheinisches Bildarchiv Köln / Marion Mennicken, cat. no. 9, fig .1

© bpk / Musée du Louvre, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais (Musée du Louvre) / Philippe Fuzeau, cat. no. 14, fig. 2

© Andi Schmid, Munich, cat. no. 20, fig. 2

© bpk / Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Michel Urtado, cat. no. 2, fig. 1

© Ola Myrin, The Swedish History Museum / SHM (CC BY), cat. no. 1, fig. 1

© bpk / Scala – courtesy of the Ministero Beni e Att. Culturali, cat. no. 13, fig. 1

© Victoria & Albert Museum, London, cat. no, 26, fig. 1 © The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, cat. no. 7, fig. 3

© Anton Brandl, Munich, courtesy of the Staatliches Bauamt München 1, cat. no. 20, fig. 1

© Wikimedia commons, cat. no. 23, fig. 2; cat. no. 12, fig. 1; cat. no. 10, fig.1

© The David Collection, Copenhagen, photo Pernille Klemp, cat. no. 28, fig. 1

© Michael Wuttke, cat. no. 24, fig. 1

© Diözesanmuseum Graz, cat. no. 6, fig. 1

For all the other photographs: © Julius Böhler Kunsthandlung GmbH and Blumka

© Diözesanmuseum Rottenburg, cat. no. 15, fig. 2

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