The Influence of Netherlandish Realism

HE SECOND HALF of the fifteenth century was a time of considerable change in Cologne. In 1451, the Black Death had afflicted the city and, according to a Carthusian chronicler, cau.;"d huge devastation, 'Iue pestilenti circumquaq'ue magnam edente stragem'; in the same year a great fire had destroyed the chapterhouse and library of the Carthusian monastery, and the chronicler agonizes over the 'immeasurable damage' to their substantial manuscript collection.' Other documents confirm that the ravages of the pestilence caused 'unprecedented' loss of lives; among the named victims are patrons, such as Johannes Rost, a canon of St Kunibert and lamenfed benefactor of the Carthusian monastery, and artists such as the painter and councillor Stefan Lochner. By the end of that terrible year the depleted population found that the established modes of succession were interrupted in all social ranks, and that many of those who had survived, though lacking in requisite experience, had to take up vacant positions in the council, in the merchant companies and in craftsmen's workshops; there is some evidence that foreigners also seized this opportunity to advance their careers. The unhappy situation was probably also a factor that helped to ease the social acceptance of those wealthy immigrant merchants who had recently established themselves in Cologne, and several of them were able to ally themselves to the ancient patriciate through marriage.' In the event, the energy and fortune of some of these prospering newcomers contributed considerably to the regeneration of the city; they also furnished the means for rebuilding and restocking the burnt out chapterhouse and library. Here, the merchant Johann Rinck from Korbach (p1.220) (see Appendix 3), who obtained citizenship in 1432, and his son Peter (pl.221) (see Appendix 3) are singled out by the Carthusian chronicler for their particular generosity, 'perfectus fuit impensis maximorum benefactorum Joannis et Petri Rinck, patritiorum'.' In the second half of the fifteenth century it was the newly established patricians who felt most in need of demonstrating, through generous patronage, their significance in the city. The plague will also have caused numerous unrecorded deaths amongst those who worked in the painters' workshops, and it seems that during the ensuing decade many a major commission was entrusted to painters of indifferent talent or incomplete training, such as the anonymous painter who produced the series of panels depicting the Legend of 51 Ursula, now in the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum.4 Other. paintings, for example the Man of Sorrows with St Francis in the same museutn/ appear to have been imported into the city from abroad.' During the second half of







141. Crucifixioll,

private collection,


142. Crucifixion, Hessisches Landesmuseum,


the century Netherlandish paintings of this type were offered for sale at certain churches, notably at St Severin, and it became common practice to add donor portraits to such imports after they had reached Cologne." Some Cologne painters managed to prosper by imitating works from the Dombild Master's workshop, but none could compete with him in artistic quality. Closest in style amongst those who el]1~lated him, but apparently without any creative talent, was a painter of altarpiece panels, now separated and dispersed between Rome, Wroclaw and Freiburg, depicting Apostle Marlyrdoms that echo the Dombild Master's Frankfurt scenes.7 This unknown painter's obvious familiarity with the techniques and models of the Dombild workshop has led to the tenable suggestion that he received his training there. A less discerning response to the Dombild Master's work can be found in the obverse sides of wings from the church of St Brigida, now in Cologne (pI. 140) and Nuremberg, in which the main Dombild scenes are copied. This imitator was apparently aware of the Dombild Master's underdrawing technique, yet in his rigid transfer of prominent figures from the altarpiece he proved himself as devoid of an

understanding of the skilful dramatic grouping of protagonists in the original design as he was of the subtle application of light and shade that distinguishes it.' The same painter was engaged with other artists in 1456 to produce anothel; large cycle of the Legend of 51 Ursula for the church of St Ursula, and his contribution there includes a scene showing King Maurus receiving the Ambassadors.' For unknown reasons the reverse sides of the wings from St Brigida were decorated, probably a couple of decades later, by a more accomplished hand with an Annunciation (pl.139) that denotes considerable understanding of spatial constructions and landscape views in the Netherlandish manner; it has a certain affinity with such works as the Annunciation of c.1435 from the circle of Rogier van der Weyden, now in Paris.'" However, the solemn angel in Cologne is more solidly formed than his Netherlandish cousin and does not aspire to similar lively movement. He is, in fact, even closer in character ami ityle to the angel from the Annunciation (c. 1475),now in London, by the Westphalian Master of Liesborn, a painter who is thought to have worked as a journeyman in Cologne." The paintings in Cologne and London set the narrative in similar rooms that incorporate an extraordinary wall apparently made from smooth grey cardboard. An examination of the underdrawing of these works would be useful and might reveal what the much restored surface obscures: the hand of the original designer. It might then be possible to say whether there is any connection between the Cologne Annunciation and the Liesborn workshop; otherwise a common source, now lost, could account for the similarities." The most relevant indigenous precedent for the angel wearing a cope, but not for the spatial setting, survives in the Heislerbach Altarpiece (pI.96). Another interesting survival from this period is a small Crucifixion panel in Darmstadt (pI.142) which reflects figure patterns from the Dombild workshop that were used, for instance, in the Nuremberg Crucifixion (see p.165)." The Darmstadt figures, including sacramental angels with chalice and censer, are silhouetted against a gold ground that is attractively decorated with punchwork; God the Father and the· Holy Spirit appear in the apex, surrounded by the heavenly host. The Crucifixion, enlarged to a Trinity and enriched by an allusion to the sacrament, presents a succinct illustration of the essentials of Christian belief, the Credo, and as such it would have been an invaluable aid to meditation. There is a close copy of this Darmstadt panel in a private collection in Wetzlar (pI. 141);the compositions vary only by some minute adjustments to some of the figures that were needed to fit the design into panels of slightly differing proportions." The work in Wetzlar is in rather rubbed condition but would appear to be painted by the same hand as the Darmstadt one. The pattern was also adapted in the same workshop for a manuscript illumination." Such small representations of the Crucifixion, like images of the Virgin, were clearly much in demand in Cologne and, judging from the inventories and wills, adorned many a home there. It is possible that the panels in Darmstadt and Wetzlar were standard repeats painted for stock during slack periods in this unknown workshop, to be customized with donor figures on demand. In this instance, only the Darmstadt !: panel shows the donor, a cleric whose identification has proved problematic despite r the depicted arms.


possibly in the church of St Laurenz where the donors held a pew. and that of their numerous progeny. now in Berlin. added to a charming image of the ever popular Virgin of Humility (pI. is remarkable in that it adopts the Dombild Master's patterns yet it rejects his spatial concept in favour of an archaic concentration on surface lines. in the wake of Netherlandish samples.1455.£. Visioll of St John. Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. 143). Virgin of Humility.'" The painting. as kneeling in the foreground corner and soliciting intercessional prayers both from St John 174 144. a member of the ancient patriciate and a prominent councillor and burgomaster. Cologne Equally elusive is the identity of the couple who had their portraits. and the audacious placing 0. Preussischer Kulturbesitz. The format of the painting suggests that it may have served as an epitaph. 144)."Hermann Scherfgin (d. Master of the Vision of St John.she donor family into the enclosed garden is in tune with the more liberal attitude to donor portraiture that had reached Cologne at that time. emphasized by a regular pattern of stars in the sky. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. see Appendix 3).84). and his wife Bela Hirtz are shown in the manner familiar from the Wasservass Calvary (pI. c." More true to the local tradition is the position of the donors in a panel in Cologne describing the Vision of 51 John (pI. The fashions worn date the panel to around 1460.143. Gemaldegalerie • .

Dombild Master." but the response from indigenous workshops and patrons had been sporadic and selective. Perhaps it is futile to conjecture whether the increase in commissions occurred because patrons were haunted by the fear of death in the wake of the epidemic. its description of reflections and refractions in the shallow part of the sea.' The figure style of the painting is in the Cologne tradition. but there is no precedent in Cologne works for the landscape with its perspective setting. and noting that: 'round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting. Wi'lllmf-Richartz-Museum.. by around 1460. a group of workshops began to emerge in Cologne that were capable of responding to the Netherlandish challenge and of regenerating the reputation of the painters of Cologne. and its lush river winding into the milky distance towards a golden background. painted in Southern Germany by Conrad Witz and it could well be that an artist from that area.THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALlSM and from the spectator. clothed in white raiments: and they had on their heads crowns of gold . who was later to excel in the art of limpid landscapes. such as Hans von Memmingen who is documented in Cologne between 1453 and 1456. they were finally willing to find it in Netherlandish panel painting. brought knowledge of these lucid views with him.'" Moreovel~ inspiration may also have been triggered by imported Netherlandish works. According to the central image. however. a new generation of painters began to look for new inspiration and. he is being commanded to write Revelaliolls 4:4-7. describing the enthroned God.. most notably the altarpiece from the still enigmatic Camp in group that Heinrich von Werl. detail from the L<1stJudgement. is thought to have resided in Cologne during this period and that the Scherfgin Vision of St John was later reflected in Memling's 51John Altarpiece in Bruges.. had brought to Cologne around 1438" and the Merode Altarpiece from the same group which is thought to have been in Cologne from around 1428 until it was taken to Mechelen in 1454. After the fallow period following the great pestilence. Such landscapes were. of which the most significant perhaps was Rogier van der Weyden's Columba Altarpiece which arrived in the church of St Kolumba in Col. when many painters had been content to imitate the work of the Dombild Master. Inspired by the naturalistic splendour and lively story-telling of the Columba Altarpiece and other Netherlandish works.dscape in the Scherfgin panel. it is apparent that an interest in panoramic settings had been aroused in the Cologne workshops and that aerial perspective was henceforth added to the indigenous artistic vocabulary. Judging by the number of paintings that have survived from this period." they certainly showed great eagerness to purchase 176 18. Cologne [) • .?gne around 1450-55." It is also worth noting that the young Hans Memling. an influential and cosmopolitan theologian. The former is depicted in the opposite corner of the painting as experiencing his vision of eternity on the island of Patmos. surrounded by the four beasts.. Mllsicinn Al1gels. or because the increased wealth of the survivors afforded them ample leisure to contemplate the sins incurred in the making of their fortunes. There were some earlier imports of Netherlandish work. and there were seven lamps . these workshops must have been exceptionally large and busy. Whilst we cannot determine precisely who provided the precedent for the la".

Lyversberg Passion. Evenh.I l THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALISM the salvation of their souls. by ordering altarpieces and votive panels. Howevel~ the paintings from the three workshops differ sufficiently in style and concept to allow attribution in most cases. more individual hands as needed. It is quite possible that neighbouring workshops were willing to lend their guild brothers a pattern or even a painter. Cologne • . and this would account for some overlap of patterns and styles between the major workshops. and this has led to considerable confusion in the attribution of works conn'ected with them. Master of the Life of the Virgin. \ Deposition."the Master of the Lyversberg Passion and the Master of the Legend of St George. The Master of the Life of the Virgin is named after a series of eight paintings from the church of St Ursula in Cologne. infra-red reflectogram by Molly Faries 24. detail from the Rotterdam Visitation. and by traces of the work of several distinct assistants in each master's 02uvre. a marked change in workshop organisation ~ust have occurred.Judging by the visual evidence. and this short survey must concentrate on establishing the distinguishing features. must have become unworkable when they w€J:eoverburdened with commissions. and to intercede for family members. of which seven are now in Munich and one in London (pis 146-153). with assistants trained carefully over a period of time in the master's methods and style. Ullderdrawillg. The workshops that dominated artistic production in Cologne in the decades after 1460were those of the Master of the Life of the Virgin. for a more open and flexible arrangement seems tt have been introduced that allowed the master to augment the original team by hiring extra. These painters shared an increased interest in the realistic description of figures and forms found in Netherlandish art. Master of the Lyversberg Passion.a systematic examination of the underdrawings and of the painting techniques of all the works from this circle should enable us also to understand and define the extent and nature of any reciprocal assistance. Wallraf-Richartz-Museul11. His works are distinguished by the clear layout of his compositions in which Rogier van der Weyden's concise figure style is adapted by 145. The difficulties are compounded by an occasional overlap of patterns.l~lly. The traditional small production team.

Several of the paintings have lost the original tracery which decorated the top corners of the panels. on stylistic grounds it has been proposed that the panels were stored only for a minimum period in this case. is also in the Cologne tradition.151).150). but by no means certain. Howevel~ the gesture of the Virgin and the cushioned bench can be found in a small Allnuncialion in Lisbon by the equally influential 0 Louvain painter Dirk Bouts. inscribed halos. Further study has led to the recognition that his Cologne vocabulary is much stronger than his foreign modulations.152). presuming a storage time for the wood of the apparently usual ten years. that the altarpiece originally comprised a larger number of scenes or that the Deal!! of the Virgin was depicted in the lost predella.Presenlatiol1 of Christ and Assumplion (pI. painted on the reverse sides of the wings.146). Detail of pI. A Crucifixion and a Corolla lion of tlte Virgin. and derive from the graphic conventions exercised in the Dombil<1 Master's workshop.26). A dendrochronological examination of the wood at Munich has led to the suggestion that. The cycle misses certain essential scenes from the life of the Virgin. as are his bright and clear colours. this painter was originally thought to be of Netherlandish origin or training. as he did for his ambiva. it has no connection with the Netherlandish custom. often enriched by genre detail. his underdrawing technique (pI." The open altarpiece would then have shown in the upper row the Meeting al the Golden Gate (pI.and in the lower row the Annunciation (pl. His narratives are set against a gold ground. Moreover.. Because of his figure style and the deep spatial settings.and Marriage of the Virgin (pI.Presentation of lite Virgin (pI.Birth of the Virgin (pl. London 153.96). 181 it • . as well as his skill in placing and contrasting colours across the picture surface (colour pI. and he favours large. Visitalion (pI. and painted nearer 1476. 145) shows regular and curved cross hatchings that are characteristic of the practice in Cologne. are juxtaposed to illustrate the most poignant moments of the Virgin's suffering and joy. the figure of the Virgin. the panels were pa"inted after 1484. the pattern of the floor tiles and the off-centre position near the picture plane of the lily-vase are all inspired by Van der Weyden's design." The impact of Rogier van der Weyden's Columba Altarpiece on the Master of the Life of the Virgin is readily apparent. drawings.14S). It has been suggested that they originally formed a triptych with the narratives arranged in two rows. In the Anl1uncialiol1 in Munich (pI. ment the master could rely on indigenous models (pI. His preference for pressed brocades" with large patterns. including a prominent use of lead-tin yellow.THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REAL/SM I l 152. her face with 'its frame of lank hair.149). or prints that reached Cologne through intermediaries and that any journey he may have made to the Netherlands did not affect his basic approach. often decorated by an inner frame of floral punchwork." For the angel wearing a cope and for his swift move-. used to negate the illusion of his deep spatial settings. patterns.147). Presentation. such as a description of her death. with four scenes in the central panel and two in each of the wings. National Gallery. The Altarpiece of lite Life of Ihe Virgin consists of eight scenes that have been sawn apart. 152 exchanging Rogier's emotional stress on line for Cologne decorum. 149)." The"work of the Master of the Life of tile Virgin is sufficiently rooted in the Cologne tradition to conclude that his apparent knowledge of Netherlandish works can derive from an intelligent scrutiny of paintings. and it is therefore possible. Master of the Life of the Virgin.

152). the Candlemas procession and the strewn leaves that delight in the Darmstadt panel have been omitted in favour of a stress on the solemnity of the ceremony.. a fashionably coiffed lady holding the doves and the donor himself feature among the attendants. and they are attended by the kneeling donor. see Appendix 3). a patrician knight and. a half-open linen chest.vith indigenous antecedents.146) and Birlh of Ihe Virgin (pl.~ illusion that is promptly undermined by the flat halo of the Virgin and by the wide cloth of honour. The repetition of the clear colours. God. 14S1). the recession of tiles and furniture creates a spatial . Not content with his prominent depiction alone.." There.21) in that the composition is placed against a gold ground and centralised around an altar carved with the prefiguring Old Testament scenes. the De Monte Lamenlat. The borrowing of patterns is more explicit in the related Presentation panel in London (colour pI. traditional decorum is preserved to a degree in that the donor is still spiritually separated from their historic meeting by the outward turn of his figure and by an expression of deep meditation in his unfocused eyes. be shown in the guise of the protagonists in other panels. 26.1480..42): 'Und ich hab audl in die angesichter allesamenleuth laissenn conleljelen uissgescheiden Jhesu Christi angesichl. judging by his collar. 1444) in Berlin provides a pertinent example of the logical articulation of the spatial depth behind each side of the brocade cloth. pI.152) a black-bearded man. echoed by the pattern repeat in the floor tiles. A variant of the subject at Rotterdam. An extensive landscape easily accommodates the various stages of Joachim's story in the fanner while a spacious interior serves to depict the various activities in St Anne's bedchamber in the latter.IFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALlSiv! .l I~ 'j THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALISM THE !J'\.151) is executed with notable stylistic independence. where monumentality is implied by fine modelling and then negated again by the strong fold and brocade patterns in his cope and by the insufficient cast shadow." The donor depicted in the Munich Visitation is identified by his coat of anns as Dr Johann von dem Hirtz (d. the same faces occur in other narratives. The frieze arrangement of figmes is repeated in every scene but the Golden Gale (pl. In the Presentation (pI.. and he used an inconsistent light to deny the figures their full substance. adds lucidity to the design." The difference between these two renderings by Cologne artists lies in the paring down to essentials that gives the later work an increased sense of clarity and serene spirituality and strips it of the sensuous luxury and variety of the former. However. they afford the ardent kneeling donor." There. Any assistance that the master might have had for this series of paintings is largely disguised by traditional workshop unity but there are two exceptions. This is particularly apparent in the figure of the angel. whilst the still and upright poses of the protagonists. a lean-faced young man.147). and the cool colours. This is the most Netherlandish of the compositions in setting and figure style. rather. This would appear to be an early example of the type of portraiture described later by the chronicler Weinsberg for his own commission (see p.150) in Munich is of unusual iconography in that it shows four figmes silhouetted against an extended and varied landscape that culminates in a golden sky populated by floating angels. In his '1"00111.IJI! Iii . Hirtz also seems to have requested that his own face.. the ambiguity of the spatial construction is increased by an inconsistency of the depicted light that denies the figures their full plastic volume.on in Cologne (pI." Such daring intimacy is 183 • . ·11. and the Assumption (pI. but even here the painter illcluded a broad-patterned brocade curtain hung against the gold background to undermine the spatial illusion. a cushion.I i'l . ! [. the moment after the birth of Mary is set in a large room where the activities of midwives and servants give ample opportunity to dwell on genre detail. The cloth of honour \'V8S equally popular in the li j !l! ." The Visitalion (pI. ironed into folds. "i II. painted around 1470 by the same master. The figures in London are not fully modelled and are not allowed to cast much shadow. The lively protagonists are carefully grouped 182 and anchored in two strong diagonal composition lines. denote the Cologne inheritance. but there its size was restricted to a smaller area behind the exalted figure. Netherlands. 1! I Ii i ~. ~· . leading to two standing gossipers ill the background." Mary and Elizabeth meet in the company of a servant girl who holds her mistress's pattens. f Portraits also seem to permeate the facial features in another work attributed to the Master of the Life of the Virgin.\! \ I~ ... in Luca myn broder Cherstgin.at harmonious intervals. where the depiction of multiple narratives called for a different kind of composition." As they display the Corpus Chris Ii in a moment ot such poignant grief that all action is arrested. ! . Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodem. such as a pitcher. a member of the Noble Order of the Holy Ghost.I. The realism of the fig~ ures and textures accounts for the strongly Netherlandish flavour of the work. lind steil in Marien bilt Feigen Ernsl mynC/' frauwcn suster arlgesicht. in that the Marriage of the Virgin (pI. and a shining basin that are displayed in harmonious intervals across the picture. . its close resemblance to Rogier van der Weyden's Leipzig painting suggests that this was also the original inspiration for the Munich version. in which the figures of Simeon and the Child are directly translated from their representation in the Colli mba Altarpiece wing. Canon Gerhard de Monte (p1. they appear carved in a shallow frieze that has been set into a golden box. lent space structure. allowing the painter to exploit the play of the lines of drapery on the picture surface. the angels.1S6) (d.II i. well expressed in the reverent composure of the attendants. On the other hand the setting of the London scene owes nothing to Netherlandish art: it has an obvious affinity with the Dombild Master's Darmstadt version of this narrative (colour p1. a chance to touch reverently and with respectfully covered hands the fingers of the dead Christ. the brocade cloth. and Van der Weyden's Nativity in the Mirnflores Altarpiece (c. that is held against a gold ground by charming angels \. I! ill'l '". in Joannis under dem creutz myner !rauzvel1 50/15 !allans"' i/1 Marco myn broder Gotschalck.'. 154) from the collegiate church of St Andreas. where the Joseph figure and the realistic features of the protagonists also provided inspiration. is of the more usual type and depicts only Mary and Elizabeth. and those of some of his relatives.155) are dressed in fine contemporary attire and their faces are strongly characterized.lS (pI. In the Life of the Virgin panel.14S) is inconsistent in style and seems to have been painted by more than one hand." His self-confidence is expressed not only in his fashionable and fur-briImned attire but also in his desire to be depicted in equal size and location to the two saints.

154.40 The same saints support Gerhard's nephews.1499) (pl.] 54 1 . De MOilte Lmnelltntioll. Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. Canon Gerhard de Monte had complete faith in his own place beside his Creator. and the donor respectively. amongst the witnesses of his intilnacy with Christ." In the De Monte Lamentation. detail of pI. In Rogier van der Weyden's Lamel1lalion il1 Fronl of the Sepulchre in Florence it is St John who touches the dead Christ with covered hands. we have the donor elevated to the role of a significant participant in an historic event. although in the diminishing hierarchic figure scales applied to the saints. De Monte Lamentation.157) and Canon Johannes de Monte (d. Master of the Life of the Virgin. he gave scant room to the traditional prayer request and his epitaph principally served to commemorate the bachelor theologian's worldly achievements. however. The donor's confident relationship with Christ in the painting is echoed in a frame inscription that affirms that this professor of theology of the University of Cologne had returned his soul to God. Clearly unburdened by the remorse and fear of hell that prompted the pious commissions of many fellow citizens.1508). Joseph and Nicodemus. who had their portraits 184 155. detail: Nicodem/. Master of the Life of the Virgin. Cologne not normally accorded to a donor. the brothers (see Appendix 3) Canon Lambert (d. Andrew and Matthew./s. a small touch of modesty may yet be detected. more usually. The conceit was completed by including the principal patrons of the collegiate church. 'sacrae theologiae eximius professor a1limam suam creatori reddidit'. this fervent action is the prerogative of Mary Magdalene.

'das es in der gedechlnis plibe'. 154 • .22) The sophisticated dichotomy of realistic protagonists. in wing panels that included similar inscriptions about their own careers in the church and university. was er Limb. the sitter had it included so that this important part of his life would not be forgotten. as Weinsberg himself confidently hoped to still have friends after his demise. with the mystical symbolism of the gold ground that denies reality. refers rather to a leisure interest. 156. Secular portraits were. who is seated on a cushion placed on the parapet before them. separated from the viewer only by a parapet. is echoed in the spatial game of depth against surface pattern 'and gives the painting a spiritual dimension most suitable for its purpose. particularly to the Descenl from the Cross. the Carthusian Bernard is shown next to the Virgin lac/ailS and reverently touching the Child. uff und 011 gehal. he decided to add a written description of his habits. focuses the viewer's attention on the face and hands of a man who seems to be of stubborn disposition and gazes straight past the viewer. to a now lost portrait drawing of himself. careworn faces (pI. There are also sporadiC resemblances in the Cologne master's work to figure patterns from Bouts and Memling. The legend was popular in Cologne. Master of the Life of the Virgin.a decade after the Munich panel. They are plausibly pOSitioned. but constricted by the frame that even cuts across his 'acorn 187 I 157. De Monte Lamentation. In this instance. in memory of the sitter. with only a hint at interior panelling and shade. is perhaps the most interesting:· The picture refers to.THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALISM THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALISM added to the epitaph..contrafeilungenerfreuen und die gerne in der verwarsarnheit behalten'. the creative ability of the Master of the Life of the Virgin is manifest as much in his sensitive characterization of the elderly.16) to a vision in which the Virgin quenched his own thirst:' In the painting. so ist nei aUein das heubl Lind leib ZLI Ireffen. middleground and background is closer to the art of Dirk Bouts. detail of pI. Whether this attribute was intended to describe the sitter as a master builder or. De Monte Lamentation.·' For the figure and features of Christ in the De Monle Lal11entation and for the saintly protagonists the painter was again indebted to Rogier van der Weyden.'·' An exact description was of sllch value because family and old friends liked to have and keep such images. with the sitter shown half-length and in three-quarter view:' A plain dark-green background. the conception of the landscape as a measured succession of foreground. dan auch sine kleidoLlng. His left hand appears to rest on a ledge that is hidden by the frame. gewonheiten. which are then steadied by the cross and softened by slight movements of heads. mangeln und gnaden'. probably by the Master of the Legend of St George after 1500. against an atmospheric landscape. detail: Gerhard de MOllte. The realism of Bernard's features is of a general kind that seems to fall short of portraiture. 'sitten. In the Dc Monte Lamelltation. he groups the protagonists in strong parallel diagonal and horizontal construction lines. to be painted around 1480. For. manners. dressed in the fur-brimmed fashions reserved for patricians. also painted in the same workshop. the legend of St Bernard's desperate prayer in the church of St Varies in Chatillon-sur-Seine that resulted in a statue of the Virgin moistening his lips with her milk.in the maIUler of contemporary portraits. 'und verhoff nDch frunde llach minem abslerben zu haben' who would cherish his memory. as the patriCian attire and precious ring may imply. as the chronicler Weinsberg later explained. of which an example in Cologne of around 1480." The prolific workshop of this master also produced the popular small images of the Virgin. 159)appears. that of an aid to private devotion. 154 but does not illustrate. faults and merits. And. though their inscribed and decorated halos are silhouetted against a gold ground which is framed by a broad band of punchwork (colour pI. Detail from the left wing: Lambert de Monte. howevel. even if it lacks that painter's ability to integrate figures and space. 'sich . in his right hand he displays a pair of dividers. The monumental image of the llnknown sitter is silhouetted against a luminous landscape. but they remain of a general nature and are more likely to reflect a mutual dependence on the paintings of Rogier van der Weyden. The Porlrail of a Gentleman in Karlsrllhe (pI. his dress and accessories were of equal importance: 'Wan eman abgernailt oder conlrafeil wirl. detail of pI. 155) as in his firmly organized pictorial construction.showing a Maria Laclans with 51 Bernard (colour pI.. on stylistic grounds. His form is pressed against the picture plane.22). which was then in Louvain and is now in Madrid:' However. and two halflength depictions of unknown men. when somebody was to be portrayed it was not sufficient to delineate his head and body with precision. and seems to have inspired the mystic Heinrich Suso (see p. survive in Munich and Karlsruhe (pis 158 and 159):' The portrait in Munich is of an ultimately Netherlandish format.

Master of the Life of the Virgin. 'groislich gezierl'. Portrait GC!lilelllllll. Bee/Sill Sclilossgin Il!ld rillushler. Staatsgemaldesarmniungen. Karlsruhe of 11 cup' cap.. anchors the design to the frame..46) and his wife Beelgin Schlossgin. and these confirm the later date of the work. that can be glimpsed in the upper corners. he went on to greatly enrich. Staatliche Kunsthalle. and the book held half open in his hand testifies to his scholarly or pious inclination. Master of the Life of the Virgin. from the competent but not inspired Konrad Kuyn (d.THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALISM 160. in 1466. Aite Pinakothek. promised to furnish and maintain it in perpetuity entirely at the' expense of the Hardenrath family" The richly carved and painted decoration of the chapel included a wall-painting with images of the patrons flanking. see Appendix 3). He endowed this with a choragic foundation and.1469) stone choir screens which included portraits of himseJf(p1. ~-. the Master of the Life of the Virgin was also the author of wall-paintings in the Salvatorkapelle in St Maria im Kapitol which were destroyed during the Second World War. whilst a fictive stone arch. According to the chronicler Koelhoff. like altarpiece wings. Baye\"..." The attacking format of the Karlsruhe painting exposes the rather weak features and indecisive character of this sitter. Its consequent prestige attracted the munificent support of the merchant and councillor Johann Hardenrath (d. Hardenrath chapel (destroyed) 158. To this effect he commissioned. Window. before 1479. Hardenrath chapel (destroyed) '1: 189 . Judging from old photographs." The sitter's patrician attire reflects that of the earlier portrait with only small fashion changes such as the rounded fur collar and elongated hat. a patrician neighbour of the church who had attained citizenship in 1449 and now wished to demonstrate the wealth and consequence of his family to fellow citizens. Portmit of a Master Blli/ricr (?). Munich 159. to 188 161. a central section which showed six painted traceried niches containing standing saints. This convent church had been the focus of episcopal and noble patronage since its foundation.: :X. according to a contract made in 1468 with the abbess. window: Bee/gill Schlossgin n!lrl rinughter.· I': Jt . • .28). Master of the Life of the Virgin._-ftj-~. the church with the most splendid and costly private chapel in the city (see p.

softened in effect by a juxtaposition with pinks and brown-hued reds.~ All. of the Carthusian church. To make doubly sure. crowded scenes that distinguish the art of a rival workshop.'" However. This master's palette is dominated by acid yello~s and greens which are.160). broad-shouldered. indicates that he learned his trade in Cologne (pl. 57 The surviving panels from the Lyversberg Passion (pis 162. that of the Master of the Lyversberg Passion. Master of the Lyversberg P8ssion. and adopting the traditional brocade patterns from the City workshops. Johann Hardenrath (pI. Germanisches Nation8lmuseum. the altarpiece a 190 ! I I i ! 1 162. the Master of the Lyversberg Passion shows an understanding of Netherlandish designs that goes well beyond the surface acquaintance manifest in the work of the Master of the Life of the Virgin. accompanied by his son.. the painter added a 'predella' containing busts of saints painted in grisaille.THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALISM complete the allusion. His thick velvet gown. making prominent use of lead-tin yellow. this. In the realistic description and spatial grouping of his figures.. to ensure that nobody would forget the identity of the generous donor or fail to commemorate the right family.16l) in the opposite 'wing'. The impression was confirmed by the elegant demeanour and attire of his wife and daughter (pI. fairly round-headed and restless. Nuremberg • l . We can only surmise that he subsequently had an opportunity to travel a little in the Netherlands and acquaint 'himself there with certain compositions and practices. 'dal solche mell10rie /lit" achter en bliwe'. 24). however. combined with an underdrawing style that uses a complex system of hatchings and cross-hatchings characteristic of Cologne workshops. show him to be a patrician of considerable wealth and inlportance. and the dagger and seal pouch at his belt. 'arne lapidem i111111ensuI11c preciosum'.8) was depicted kneeling at prayer in a vaulted room. AJI/JIII/ciClfioll. patterns developed from paintings by Bouts and by Van der Weyden had a considerable diffusion across Western Europe and continued to reach Cologne also by means of intermediaries. Their coats of arms were diligently repeated in painted and carved parts of the chapel. This painter is named after fragments of a Passion altarpiece from the Carthusian monastery of St Barbara that came into the Lyversberg collection in Cologne after secularization and are now dispersed between Cologne and Nuremberg (colour pis 23. the donor images and arms were repeated in the splendid stained-glass windows of the chapel (pI. richly trimmed with flll. His stocky figure style and his tendency to place figures more plausibly into their setting has an affinity with the work of Dirk Bouts that suggests that he may have seen it in nearby Louvain which at that time formed part of the archbishopric of Cologne. When opened. Lyversberg Passion. His landscapes do not always dissolve in bluish atmospheric haze. 170-171) originally formed the wings of an altarpiece for the huge high altar. instead they blend to a greeny golden distance against the gold ground." The Lyversberg Master's style is distinct also in that his figures do not aspire to the elegance or elongation favoured in other Cologne workshops: they appear realistically sturdy. The lively realism of these protagonists all but contradicts the sacred mystery implied by the decorated gold grounds.168.177). yet he was also clearly familiar with Cologne usage and painted in cool colours against a gold ground." The tranquil images of the Master of the Life of the Virgin and his measured lyrical compositions are in contrast to the dramatic.164-166.

163. its pose linking the two kneeling kings and. 164). The lost central section of this large work may well have been carved and is likely to have included images of the patron saints of the altar. through them.. but destabilised again by the contraposes of the Child and the middle king. however. but 193 1 . with Joseph. In contrast. for the Virgin touches the Child's foot." not only in the figure of the king doffing his hat (Van der Weyden's design evolved from the Dombild courtier in the same position) the dignified features of Joseph and the group of onlookers. All movement is arrested save that of the middle king who ceremoniously sinks to his knees in adoration.'" The left wing showed a Last Supper and an Arresl above a Christ befo1'e Pilale and a Mocking of Cli1'ist and Flagellation. This is a detailed narrative. with an Adoralion of the Kings on the reverse side (pis 168. the oldest king seems to speak. The colours are used to clarify the forms and are applied in small patches that create a restless echoing pattern across the painted surface. with an Annuncialion on the reverse side (pI. The Life of the Virgin composition is symmetrical. It is interesting to compare the Lyversberg composition with the Nuremberg Adoralion by the Master of the Life of the Virgin (pl. The lyric poetry of the Master of the Life of the Virgin is here contrasted by expressive drama. the. Master of the Life of the Virgin. the right wing showed a Carrying of the Cross and a Crucifixion above a Deposition and a Resurrection with the Three Maries al the Sepulchre. Adomtiol/. this diagonal line is echoed in the foreground rocks.'"The scenes are compositionally balanced. The composition is stabilized by the heavy architecture of the shed and by the balancing figures of the standing king and Joseph."' The Lyversberg Master's knowledge of the Columba Altarpiece is apparent in the Adoration of the Kings panel in Nuremberg (pI. but also in compositional devices such as the other hat placed on the ground before the king and the construction of the arched shed. 164. so that the two architectural scenes in one wing and two crosses in the other are placed diagonally across the wing panel. the Lyversberg Master was much closer to the Master of the Life of the Virgin in the selection and arrangement of motifs. The differences between the two narratives are not so much due to their diverging formats as they are to the dissimilar temperaments of their authors. The centralized arrangement of the principal protagonists is. Colours and composition convey a sense of harmonious interval. In an earlier attempt at the subject in a Life of the Virgin Alta1'piece in Linz of 1463 (pI. and possibly items from the impressive relic collection of the monastery.<1 163. is framed by the single arch of the shed. the Lyversberg composition is dominated by a throng of actors forming a tight diagonal grouping that is stopped by the upright form of the kneeling oldest king. compelling in its numerous human activities. Nuremberg (:f the Killg:.165). Nuremberg would have measured around 560 cm.162). centred around the 192 Virgin who.164).Child strains his little arms toward his mothel. the two diagonal lines that run to the upright spectators on each side. Germclnisches Passion. in the Cologne tradition. dated on stylistic grounds to the early 1470s)/' who shared both these sources of inspiration. the youngest king doffs his hat and three flags flutter in the wind. The Child in her lap provides the visual and emotional centre of the composition. Master of the Lyversberg Passion. whose curious kneeling posture allows him both to display his fashionably elongated boot and to take his precious gift from his page. The quartered wing arrangement follows a tradition familiar in Westphalia and Cologne. 14domtioll Germanisches NatiollCllmuseu!1l. the next one looks towards the Child as he turns to take the vessel from the twisting page. Lyversberg Nationalmllscum. The well-nigh weightless figure of the page might reasonably be described as dancing attention.

however. or to a common but now lost source. the verticalJine of the cross. in contrast with the solemnity of his colleague's composition. partially masked by the diagonal of the laddel~ is echoed in Christ's left arm. is made explicit in the Arresl in the reproduction of all the principal motifs. in borrowing that painter's design of the Descellt from the Cross in Munich. and other bystanders to beat him and pull his hair in a manner that is more usually reserved for Flagellation scenes. 165. the tears clinging to his cheeks (pI. Master of the Lyversberg Passion.THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALISM On the other hand the Lyversberg Master eschewed the emotional intensity that permeates Van der Weyden's dramatic art and therefore. for instance. 23). now in Turin. In his composition. 194 The Cologne master's response to patterns from Dirk Bouts can be clearly defined by cOl~paring the Lyversberg Arrest and Resurrection (pis 166 and 168) with similar scenes. kiss whilst helping to seize Christ. now in Munich. In the Lyversberg Descent. the debt to an earlier painting by Bouts. The Lyversberg Master used fewer figures than Bouts for his design.N' Although the Lyversberg Passion predates these works by a decade. together with the Arresl. are in true Van der Weyden style. The Cologne painter also allowed the man with the slashed sleeve not only to grab at Christ's cloak but also to lift a club to strike him. with new drama which he introduced through realistic characterization of the protagonists. he enriched familiar iconography.e simplified silhouette of the back of Nicodemus. but there are certain elements in this particular interpretation of such models that caused scholars to claim it. the line of the Virgin's left arm is repeated 'in the folds of John's turned-back mantle and then again in Salome's right arm. In contrast to that muted narrative. he calmed the fervoLll~ reduced the number of participants. inspired by Netherlandish models. For the Carrying of the Cross (colour pI. in ti. as a prototype for the Lyversberg designs. the Netherlandish flavour of the panels from St Laurenz is too prominent to suggest that the Lyversberg compo195 1 . The careful construction of the Cologne design also incorporates the pattern of parallel lines that is such a striking feature in Van der Weyden's Munich composition and also in his Madrid Descent/rom the Cross. 169) that is thought to have been painted in the Louvain workshop around the time of Bouts' death in 1475."' The Lyversberg Master's response to compositional ideas and new patterns is selective and intelligent. the Cologne master explOits the dramatic potential by juxtaposing Christ and the nude prisonel~ by allowing the crowd to surge nearer to Christ and Joseph of Arimathaea. Salome no longer wrings her hands in frenzied grief. Moreover. However. and by showing the soldier in the act of striking Christ. he may have followed a model used also by Memling for his Passion panel. his Judas compounds his betrayal by bestowing hi.137). but folds them in numbed prayer. Adoration of the Kings. For his scene describing an exhausted Christ amongst his supporters and adversaries. and turned the figures more towards the spectator. and in a fence post and a tree. The leading soldiel~inward-looking in Bouts' design is turned towards the viewer in the Lyversberg Passion. The Resurrection from St Laurenz (pI. such as he may have seen in the Passion panels from the Lawrence Master's workshop (pl. St John's youthful face is now framed by lovingly described silky curls which soften the impact of the desolate eyes that invite the viewer to share in his sorrow. he subtly altered the narrative content of the model by showing not only Peter lifting his sword to sever an ear from the crouching servant Malchus but also Christ extending his hand in pity to restore it (John 18:1-12). Kath Pfarrkirche St Maria. presumably to contrast his stance with the inward-looking version of this pattern in the Carryil1g of Ihe Cross on the opposite wing (colour pI. until dendrochronological examination of the wood showed that they were botl1 painted later than the Passion panels. however. 169) in Munich is no exception."' The two interpretations differ in dramatic impact. 23). from an altarpiece from the church of St Laurenz in Cologne (pis 167.24). even including a burning torch that lost its meaning when the Lyversberg Master chose a daytime setting rather than the night scene of Bouts' work. Most of the Passion paintings of this period include some patterns that were widely diffused. leaving out all the subsidiary stories so that he could heighten the dramatic impact of the narrative. for Memling spread the group along the path and shows the nude prisoner further forward in the sad procession.75)."' for his polyptych (colour p1. Linz even then his rendering is episodic and lively." In addition.

serves to demonstrate the increased realism and drama that the Lyversberg Master was inspired to bring even to such a quiet and traditional scene as the Allliunciation. On close scrutiny. Alte Pinakothek. Munich sitions designs were the p~·oto'types. textures. the finished appearance also denotes the collaboration in some passages. and according to some variation in the style of underdrawing of the panels. the master appears to have made model drawings which served him. In the Lyversberg version the motives are assembled in a manner that is in many ways closer to Conrad von Soest's Niederwildungen Altarpiece. presumably so that the master could ensure a unity of style for the altarpiece. the oculus window. From such patterns.168). in the furniture. Dierick Master of the Lyvcrsberg Passion. although it follows Bouts' preference for isolated figures. Dirk Bouts workshop. in a dramatic counter turn. Wallraf-Rich8rtz-Museum. in the window with a landscape view and in the exact pose of tIle Virgin. This organization allows a reasonable space for the three guards leaning against the sarcophagus and for the depiction. This was done with a reasonable amount of detail. Cologne 169. The art of the Lyversberg Master may be eclectic in detail. and then stabilizing the design by placing the upright figures of the Three Marys to one side and Christ to the other (pl. and notably in the integration of the figures with the realistic setting." According to a 197 • . was indebted to Dirk Bouts' models. 67). Dirk Bouts.Staatsgemaldesammlungen. Passion. like the Master of the Life of the Virgin (pl. and the angel's gesture reflect Conrad's work. howevel~ 1110re vigorous in the Cologne lnaster's \vork and is. now in Granada. the Resurrecliol1 was among the works completed after his death by his workshop. as seen in Lisbon and Madrid. The lively characterization of faces. a comparison of the two Cologne works. Arrest. 162) from the Passion cycle owes as much to Conrad von Soest's 'Dortinund design (pI. the patricians Johannes and Peter Rinck' (see Appendix 3). rather closer to an earlier version by Bouts that he used in a Crucifixion triptych. The pose of this soldier is. a soldier sheltering his eyes from the supernatural light is particularly striking. Cologne ] 68. indebted as it is to Netherlandish inventions and to Cologne/Westphalian traditions. Bayer. The interior setting. Lyversberg 167. Lyversberg Passion. the Virgin kneeling by her prie-dieu before a bench. photograph A.onto the panel. that although Bouts painted the Arrest for the altarpiece. the soldier is feebly stretched out on his back in front of a poorly integrated assembly of motifs that. even though the sprawling soldier is depicted there as still sleeping (pI. his assistants to transfer the design . Resurrectioll. Arrest. painted under the same influence. sheltering the angel within it. However.149). coupled with the precise description of fabrics. The gift of the Lyversberg Passion altarpiece is listed in the local Carthusian records of 1465 amongst numerous donations obtained from the monastery's 'greatest benefactors. One can only presume what certain differences in the underdrawing of the Munich panel seems to confirm. the simple tile pattern. confirms the Lyversberg Master's debt to Netherlandish sources. Master of the Lyversberg Passion.THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALlSlvl 166. but it successfully fuses these elements into a personal idiom. armour reflections and plants. The Cologne master's composition is strengthened by placing the sarcophagus in a firm diagonal. Wal1raf-Richartz-Museum. 69) as it does to Netherlandish art.'" In the design for St Laurenz. whilst the Christ Child with the cross is a common Westphalian feature!" In all other respects. Resllrreclioll. Among the corresponding examples. L. the Lyversberg Master. does not attain his sense of spiritual unity. Thus the Annunciation (pI. of the light-blinded soldier. in fact.

a reference that he was prone to omit for the ancient patriciate. that the panel seems designed by Pete. Gertgin Blitterswich (d. in Jine with the traditions of the times. that' he attracted the patronage of the ambitious and cosmopolitan Johann Rinck and his learned son. marked by his contemporary attire. 23 r> . discussed earlier (see p.28 and n. 162). joined the community of apostles in the painting at the institution of the Eucharist. who. 1462).22). and services to be said by his grave before the altar. and his own need of atonement that made him generous. painted around the same time by an unknown hand."· Apparently. Peter Rinck (d. The fact that neither the second wife. the Coronation of the Virgin (pl. '1)(711Irmtzherrcl1. the altarpiece and two windows together cost Joharu1 1200 Rhenish Gulden (see p.nor any children are included forcibly suggests that the work was commissioned by f:eter. To this effect the painting was placed in the splendid family chapel at"St Kolumba. However. built in 1463 (see pp.1501). 1464)had only gained citizenship in 1432 and it was not merely the religious inclination of his son Dr.vs that he recognized the social value of having his family name commemorated and his status celebrated in this splendid temple. to honour and commemorate"'his parents.41). together with his first wife and Peter's moth€l. When the altarpiece stood open. the viewer could observe amongst the assembly of apostles in the Last Supper a strongly characterized figure (pl. When the altarpiece stood closed on the high altar of the church. Johann was not depicted in the passion panels..l71). Lnst SlIppe!". the Rincks must have been remarkably generous. the arms of the Rinck family could be seen." The vision of heaven with the Virgin framed by a glory of lively musician angels is placed so near the patch of earth that holds the supplicant donors in the traditional manner. commenriacio." When comparing this image with a donor portrait of Peter Rinck from a Carthusian Misericordia (pis 219. even though his portrait balanced that of his son in the Misericordia painting. to confirm the success of Johann's endeavours. 'Capella . 170.170). or his advisors. .27-28). detail of colour pI." The painting style of the panel indicates a date after Johann had remarried. Johann Rinck is also shown. as the manner of his giving sho\.1439). now in Munich. Lyversberg Passion. sU111plibus el expensis ex funrial11e11to erecta'. This sumptuous and expensive chapel was central to Johann's carefully laid plans to ensure salvation by funding perpetual prayers. 220). prominently displayed in the Annunciation scene (pI. rifterschaftel1 ind van dell burgerclI vall Col/ell hoecillichcr begiftet illd geziert'. presumably soon after Johann's demise in 1464. portraits 01 all the Jiving and deceased members of his family.. if the epitaph had been commissioned by Johann himself on~ could ~xpect it to include. It is also a measure of the pro- fessional esteem commanded by the Master of the Lyversberg Passion. To be hailed the greatest benefactors of the monastery that attracted liberal support from many of the wealthiest citizens and frolTt foreigners. Master of the Lyversberg Passion.THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALISM note added to the record by a contemporary hand. It is perhaps equally significant that the chronicler stressed the donors' patrician status. having aspired to membership of the Carthusian community before l1is health failed. in another work by the Master of the Lyversberg Passion. Johann Rinck (d. it is tempting to conjecture that it is Peter. Beelgin von 5uchtelen (d.

1473.173) and Ecce Homo (pl.29. The lean. Linz 171. now in the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. often arranged in parallel planes set into a landscape setting. in the rare instances where the 200 . derives from the Netherlandish tradition and his painting style evokes works produced in the Louvain region under the influence of Dirk Bouts and Rogier van der Weyden. he had all the living and deceased members of his family included in the donor portraits. StaatsgemtildesamlTllungen. all presumably responding to patrons' requests. and in short looped strokes for highlights (pl. pl. Master of the Lyversberg P<1SSiOIl. and the anonymous painter is named after this work. Kath Pfarrkirche St Maria. The upper row commences with the 172. his atmospheric landscapes rise to a high horizon against a milky blue sky and are plausibly described with the help of winding river settings and colour diminution. When he is not requested to use a gold ground. Nativity.176). MIJnich When another affluent Cologne merchant and councillor." The opened triptych narrates Voragine's version of the story of St George. B<1yer." This master's underdrawing technique of 'widely spaced parallel lines. see Appendix 3).174) on the reverse sides of the wings which include the donor portraits and coats of arms."' The legend is narrated in two rows and reads across the wings and central section. Peter Kannengiesser (d. but his acquaintance with Netherlandish art goes beyond the mere assimilation of patterns noted in the contemporary Cologne workshops." For his eponymous altarpiece. with lively figures. the Master of the Legend of St George described the legend in eight narrative panels (colour pI.175). each row linked through a continuous landscape. Alte Pin<1kothek. Despite his occasional adoption of traditional inscribed halos and gold grounds. Master 0f the Lyversberg-Passioll. almost gaunt faces of his protagonists have a taciturn air and. The muted tonality of his landscapes is contrasted by notably warm orange and yellow hues in his figures' costumes. In his early work. although they are never totally integrated. his style can be characterized as realistic. he clearly served his apprenticeship outside Cologne. they can tend towards caricature. senior clergy and various distinguished families in and around Cologne. CorOllalioll of IIII! Virgin. They are depicted on the closed wings of a large altarpiece (pis 173. with representations of the Nativily (pI.174) thought to have come from the altar of St George in Gross-St Martin. wished to be commemorated in an altarpiece. crossed at times." He differs from his two major competitors in that he painted almost entirely in the Netherlandish manner. a delight in realistic detail can threaten to undermine the integrity of the composition. elsewhere their stillness serves to evoke a conten1plative response in the viewer.'" This Master of the Legend of St George presided over a major workshop that attracted the patronage of university professors. and his use of one Cologne brocade pattern.THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALISM narrative demands a more lively expression.

delighting in episodes of horrific torture the saint is said to have endured and ending with his Christian burial. embedded in the landscape. Master of the Lyversberg Passion. J. that leads the eye towards the decisive event shown in the foreground. then shows in turn her rescue by St George killing the evil dragon. Underdrawing from J. apart from the very different narration of the travels of St Ursula and her companions. with his head silhouetted against a lettered golden halo. In this paint204 176. Wa!lraf~Richartz-Museum.through the throat of a beautiful winged dragon. seated on a richly harnessed rearing horse. The elegant princess observes the action from the rear of the front stage.175). infra-red ref!ectogram by R. Master of the Legend of St George. Ulf{icrdmwiliS from the Apostle Triptych. The tale continues in the lower row. The knight in shining armour.tyrdoms by the Dombild Master (pis 117. there is a multiple narrative. parallel to the picture plane. the ensuing conversion of the royal family (with donor coats of arms in the church window). In the panel describing the fight with the dragon (pI. van Asperen de Boer 205 • . and the saint's refusal to abandon his faith for which he is cruelly tortured on the cross. iMra-red refe!ctogram. A comparison of the torture scenes with those of the apostle ma. drives his lance. No precedent survives from Cologne for such a cycle describing the life and suffering of a saint. Munich 177.175. 51 Georsc s{nyillS flu: rimsoll. The Legend of St George. Master of the Legend of St George. she stands before a rocky promontory that masks the middle ground but does allow a glimpse through to a landscape with a river winding its way towards a town. Alte Pinakothek. although such legends may well have decorated predellas that are now lost. the Lyversberg Passion. Cologne plight of the princess. 118) serves only to illustrate the profo~~d change in artistic conception that had taken place in Cologne.

causing the silhouette of his cloak to billow out and increase his bulk. It is in the Nalivity (pI. The Kannegiesser coat of arms in the adjacent Ecce Homo panel (pI. material textures and reflections are all realistically described in a manner that is consistent and that owes nothing to the Cologne tradition. Love's EIIChmllllll!llt. Leipzig • . flowers. has taken off his pattens. with the relevant coats of arms. Master of the Legend and Valerian.174) 206 179. the Legend of St George Master returned to the original patterns of upright.173) on the reverse side of the wing that some similarities with the Lyversberg Master's Linz version (pI. private collection. Geneva Cecilia ing rocks. praying angels. trees. animals of all sizes.178. and he added monumentality to the Joseph figure by pulling his hood up over the back of the head."' Yet where the Lyversberg Master had described the angels as bending busily over the child in sundry activities. Museum der bildenden Kunste.1486) and her children. bones. presumably to indicate that he kneels on holy ground. c. of St George.172) becomes apparent. It would appear that both artists responded to a model that ultimately derives from Van der Weyden's Bladelin Altarpiece. both in compositional terms and in the design for Joseph. buildings. The donol~ Peter Kannegiessel~ who is depicted in a meadow before the Nativity stable. He is accompanied both by his first wife Christina Sli:issginand her children and by his second wife Bela Hawyser (d.

M<1ster of the Glorification of the Virgin. the painting has an outdoor setting. The charming image may have a double meaning. now in much restored condition in the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. against an atmospheric landscape setting. that is no longer accessible to us. The style of the painting. but had not abandoned his Netherlandish accent. depicts Sainls Prolecling I"e Cily of Cologne (pl. The Calvary bears arms that are generally thought to belong to the patrician Hermann Rinck (d.lt is instructive to compare the near accurate description of the Citylayout. possibly derived from long lost poetry. and includes the small towns of Bruhl.an angel in her room. It may be worth considering whether the delightful Eyckian panel in Leipzig of disputed attribution and depicting Love's Enchanlment (pl. Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. in the far background. burghers' houses. Dendrochronological examination of the wood suggests a felling date of 1454". Gemll1. St Anne.'" an illustration of the local adage that nobody is master of Cologne but God and his saints: 'dal 208 180.180). the Siebengebirge (seven mountains) and. Cologne I7l1d Christopher niemantz dey stat von Collen here sie dan gol and sine hilligen '. southwards along the Rhine.. a wing panel in the WallrafRichartz-Museum.''l7 Although the story is set in the saint's bedchamber. A contemporary and equally anonymous artist responded to Netherlandish landscape settings with almost typographical accuracy whilst he remained bound in the Cologne tradition for his figure style. that includes monuments. all depicted in subtle and varied hues of cool tonality against a gold ground. The Virgin (lI1d Clli/d {llId Saints before the City ojCO/OgIIC. as customary. according to the Golden Legend. The triptych shows a Calvary. people and trade. as well as the use of brilliant colours. flanked by a Tral7sfiguralion and a Resurrection. because I have brought them to you fran1 God's heaven/ll. 1496):"' The most unusual painting amongst the many works attributed to the Legend of SI George Master and his workshop is a panel in private possession in Geneva (pl. On stylistic grounds. 180) is described with such topographical accuracy that the painting can be plausibly dated to after 1493 by the completion date of certain depicted buildings. some mountains of the Eiffel. Peter. harks 209 • . in black alone for the deceased.178) which shows. and are attired in red and black for the living or.179)" could be by the same hand as the enigmatic painting in Geneva. Gereon and Peter are shown as standing on a shallow stage before the traditional brocade cloth of honour and gold ground. saying "Guard these crowns with spotless hearts and clean bodies. a date soon after 1464 seems likely. a fashionably attired young patrician couple and an angel holding crowns of roses over their heads. both deceased by the time the altarpiece was painted.THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALISM would suggest that the couple depicted there are Peter's parents Heinrich Kannegiesser and Margarethe Elverfeld. and and therefore a painting date after 1464 has been proposed. the panel must have been painted before his death in 1473. Bonn and Sieburg. As Peter wears a red hood.'" he had softened his initially rather dry figure style. In the background. it has therefore been suggested that they represent St Cecilia and her husband Valerian who. with the assembly of just the more important monuments in earlier city views. received crowns of roses and lilies as tokens of their chastity: 'Valerian was baptized by St Urban and went back to find Cecilia talking to." The narrative is ambiguous. the semblance of a sewlar portrait of two elegant and modish figures is not supported by the generalized features of the protagonists. one of which she gave to Cecilia and the other to Valerian. presumably under the influence of the work of the Master of the Life of the Virgin. recently restored to St Kunibert church. with a now all but erased Al1l7Ul7cialiol1on the reverse sides of the wings. and Saints Christopher." Arourid a decade latel~when the Master of the Legend of St George was painting the Calvary Triplych. the city of Cologne (pI." The panoramic view extends beyond the city. This Master is named after a panel from St Bonifatius church showing a Glorification of the Virgin. the Virgin and Child. The angel held two crowns of roses and lilies in her hand." Another of his works." The donor figures are shown in three-quarter view for easy identification and to indicate supplication. with such emphasis on luxurious garments and on the splendour of the armour and jewels. Alllle.

" The brothers left their mark on the city itself by building a magnificent palace for the use of the emperor (see p. Howevel~ for paintings that were based on the meditation texts that detailed the suffering of Christ or the saints. commissioned a Netherlandish artist to depict the sombre subject of the Virgin's death and a Cologne artist. with the Death of the Virgin scene as the most obvious exemplar (pI. The complex design is steadied by the vertical emphasis of columns and architecture and by arranging the crowded figure groups in sets of parallel diagonals that diverge to feature the Child ill the centre of the narrative. fash. now in Paris. Holy Killsfiip. the fold patterns in the robes of the male protagonists are realistically described. 1518. As the scenery winds 211 1 . 28). he and his brother George (d.THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALISM back to the art of the Dombild Mastel~ whose Virgin also informs the features of her representation in this work. to paint an altarpiece that celebrated the Holy Family and their kin.''' In contrast. a copy of this triptych was then made in Antwerp for the family residence. colour pis 27.ionable garments and tapestry-like flowers. see Appendix 3) strove to keep the family name in memory through grandiose patronage that culminated in a splendid rood screen and a family tomb for St Maria im Kapitol. having been crowned in Aachen in 1493. was expected to make his first imperial visit to the city. to a master in Cologne who combined realistic description with the beguiling elegance of costly 210 181.'"Their appreciation of Netherlandish art coupled with their love of luxury caused Nicasius to turn. which was rekindled when it finally achieved chartered imperial status in 1475. glistening jewels and palatial architecture."' To look after their spiritual needs. consistent realistic description was usually preferred during these decades. Cologne brocades. 18). 181). a Netherlandish flavour dominates the composition. both ordered by Nicasius in 1517 in Mechelen." No doubt aware of the different impact of the dominant styles. elegance and luxury.1524. Nicasius Hackeney (d. 31). The realistic figures with their strongly characterized features denote considerable knowledge of recent trends in major Netherlandish workshops. he later married into the established patriciate. for instance.'" Most remarkable are perhaps the wings. The propaganda message of the Saints' panel expresses an exuberant confidence in the city. the brothers arranged for intercessional services to be said near the tomb every week and commissioned. The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship" (pis 183. with donor figures of the brothers in shining armour depicted on one wing and those of their elegantly attired wives on the other. The implication of social status and power that the style therefore evoked made it a subtle tool also in commemorative religious art commissioned by private patrons. the anonymous painter was later named after this work. who incorporated elements of the Courtly Style in his design. Having no male heirs." Nicasius was the son of a Cologne goldsmith and came to prominence in the service of the emperor. to support that purpose. The panel of the city saints was produced when the new emperol~ Maximilian I. an altarpiece of the Death of tlte Virgin from )oos van Cleve in Antwerp. For all the courtly delight in rich brocades. for the Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship. and notably reinforced through the lavish imperial wedding celebrations of 147i (see p. Presumably as much by inclination as at the request of more traditionally minded patrons. The work of the Master of the Glorification of the Virgin avoids such explicit realism and can instead be characterized as a judicious updating of the Courtly Style. an instructive example of his approach survives in his free copy of the Dombild Master's Darmstadt Presentation. Wallraf~Richartz~Museum. It is likely that in the context of the many iJnperiai and royal visits to the city much ephen1eral art was produced in Cologne that perpetuated the Courtly Style. Younger Master of the Holy Kinship. some patrons chose their artists according to the subject of their commission. in which the donors and saints are silhouetted against a landscape of transparent beauty (colour pI. 184. see Appendix 3). Such conJidence was encouraged by the numerous festive visits of Emperor Friedrich III between 1473 and 1488. with those elements of Netherlandish painting that could enhance the sophisticated effect. 28) contains in its central panel an ambitious iconographic programme that includes Saints Catherine and Barbara among the kindred group as well as depictions of the Presenlalion and Death of Ihe Virgin in the top corners of the panel. especially when coupled with elements of realistic painting. this able painter combined Cologne's innate love of beauty. and many details also indicate direct or indirect access to designs by Hugo van der Goes.

Holy Ki!lsliip. Nicasius. II .li I IIII I.. 11'11 '\1. Nicasius Hackeney. II. made in 1507 or 1508. and of a confraternity for the monumental St Sebastia11 Allarpiece. now in Nuremberg."" The prolific workshop of the Younger Master of the Holy Kinship flourished in the city from the 1480sand it attracted significant patronage. Holy Kinship. 184. 183). right wing. in black garments. a date soon after his demise in 1518 may be inferred. which on the inside panels bears all the hallmarks of the Cologne convention.[ i 11 't 11[.:.''''' Differences in underdrawing style. accompanied by his patron saint. Other patrons preferred the purely Netherlandish art of another large workshop. ··I!li THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALISM THE INFLUENCE OF NETHERLANDISH REALISM I il!1 '1li. "" painted with considerable workshop assistance around a decade later. is depicted in the left wing (pI. Younger Master of the Holy Kinship. albeit sli'ghtly relieved by the dark brown of his patrician fur collar. it is possible to suggest a chronology for his works with the help of two dated paintings: one·a workshop production of 1486showing the Mass of St Gregory. ""The earliest possible date for the painting would be 1508. Holy Kinship Ii II II t· H il !I II 182. The identification of the numerous donor figures and saints.'" The Younger Master of the Holy Kinship was commissioned by the Council of Cologne to design the third full window in the north side aisl~ of Cologne Cathedral. as Nicasius is depicted 212 213 • . the year in which Nicasius married Christina. including that of the counts of Neuenahr for their family Epitaph. the backgrounds contain small representations of the Nativity and Assumption. and by Saint Roch (with his angel assistant). left wing. Younger Master of the Holy Kinship. is less certain. while his second wife Christina has Saints Gudula and Elizabeth (with a beggar) as her companions in the right wing (pl. Younger Master of the Holy Kinship.'" painted after 1484. The donor."" However.184). although a date after 1514 has been suggested after dendrochronological examination of the wood."'" and the other the Epitaph of Jakob Udema1111 of 1492. confirm the impression given by the surface appearance that the reverse sides were painted with considerable workshop assistance. presided over by an immigrant master who takes his name from a cycle of large 183. bu t here developed from the earlier example with considerable skill and an eye for genre detail. II ~ I "i. Although no documents concerning this master have survived. detail of p1. although the portraits are clearly of members of the same family.s in a manner already observed in the work of the Master of the Life of the Virgin. depicted in a brocade-hung loggia on the reverse sides of the wings. now in Utrecht.II: .181 I! towards a far horizon it changes colour in three distinct band.

depicting the Legend of St Ursula (pis 185. the cost was sllared by 'Wynond van Wickroid. several of the canvases have been reduced in size.H" The thin. of which nineteen canvas paintings are known.185. and was sponsored by a variety of donors who each had their good deed inscribed on the relevant panel. Nuremberg 186. while the narrative figure groupings against atmospheric landscapes or city squares are reminiscent of works by the Master of the Tiburtine Sibyl.''" In these paintings. Nurernberg Rome. for the largest and most significant canvas. one with' Aelheit syn huisfrou' and another with 'Druidgen syn huisfrou'. Tile Baptism Germanisches NationClirnuseum. presumably because one wife had died during the production period of the cycle and the next one wished to have her name cornmenlorated as well. Master of the Legend of St Ursula. the interiors have an Eyckian flavour. and.000 Virgins. quickly brushed painting technique of these works differs considerably from the careful application of layers of pigment usual in Cologne workshops. the Martyrdom ofSt Ursula ol1d her 11. Master of the Legend of St Ursula. Hilgen syn huisfrou'. 186). It is particularly intriguing to note that Johan Ort was obliged to sponsor two panels. such as 'Wilhem Ynckhuys der jung Kaleryn syn huisfrou' and 'Johan Yl1ckhuys' and 'Enlgyn Syl1 huisfrou'. and their donor portraits 214 apparent that the donations often came from members of the same family. Unfortunately. with arms and inscriptions are missing. FrOlTIthe remaining canvases it is The Master of the Legend of St Ursula appears to have also employed in his workshop painters who are likely to have trained in Cologne. a follower of Bouts who is thought to have been active in Haarlem. and the work of one of them is particularly close to that of his master. was painted for the church of St Severin by several hands of the workshop. of Sf Ursula. Legend of St Ursula. The now scattered cycle. Legend of St Ursula. the series is thought to have been painted between 1495 and 1505. now in London. after his apprentice215 1 . Lysbet syn hllisfrou' and 'Heynrich van Wickroid. paintings on canvas. The Saillt alld her companions leave Germanisches NationaimuseUll1. 1t would appear that.

In his mature work. It is generally agreed. to learn about the most recent trends in realistic painting. as a journeyman in this workshop. there is a tendency to reveal small traces of his Cologne inheritance in his independent work. At the same time Netherlandish artists were able to establish themselves in the city.'" From these works the anonymous painter has been named the Master of St Severin. the attribution of this panel. for instance the lyrical. in a personal style of such extraordinary character and invention that he was able to imbue late medieval painting in Cologne with a final refreshing burst of energy. and learned to assimilate his master's style. particularly amongst the new members of the patriciate who seized upon the propaganda value of costly commissions. for brocades and for elegant garments adorned with precious jewels. The dichotomy of having to marry luxurious display with truthful representation had so continually exercised the artists of Cologne that by the end of the fifteenth century all possibilities seemed to have been explored. howevel. This caused them to demand not only veracity in the narrative but also likeness in the portraiture. Detroit nl/d Sf Mrry Mngdnlelle. centralized composition of the Adoration of the Kings of c. a fine Porlrail of a Lady (p1. By the end of the fifteenth century. Indigenous artists tended to avail themselves of all the opportunities that the con'stant mercantile and artistic exchange with the Netherlands afforded.187). he spent many year. only a few had totally abandoned their long-held preference for gold grounds. However. The Virgin Ellthroned with St Cntherille Detroit Institute of Arts. is still disputed and only a systematic analysis of the underdrawing and painting teclmique of all the works in this disputed group can lead to a more objective assessment. 217 • .3) in Cologne'" which follows in the tradition of the male portraits by the Master of the Life of the Virgin (pis 158 and 159) should also be ascribed to the Master of St Severin. that it is the Master of St Severin who furnished the designs of several of the other windows in the north side aisle of Cologne Cathedral. '" and the Virgin e71lhrol1ed with Sai11ls in Detroit (pI.THE INFLUENCE or NETHERLANDISH REALISM ship.'" he proves himself as indebted to the Dombild Master and the Master of the Life of the Virgin as he is to Netherlandish works. which were made in a Cologne glassworks from 1507 to 1508. Howevel. Among the many workshops that flourished in Cologne around the turn of the sixteenth century. Coupled with their need to impress contemporaries was the desire to be commemorated for posterity.1505 in Cologne. both for spiritual and worldly reasons. 187. the taste for ostentation prevailed. such as the Saints panels in the vestry of the church of St Severin and some of the scenes from a series of twenty canvas paintings in the same church that record the legend of St Severin. and of many other paintings from the circle of the Masters of St Ursula and St Severin. but then only to adapt them to an admittedly ever increasing degree that suited their own artistic interests or the preference of their own patrons. By this measure. Master of St Severin. of courtly elegance and naturalistic description. This anonymous painter has been named the Master of Bartholomew. Yet there was one artist in the Citywho was able to fuse the opposing trends of the spiritual and the real.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful