- Museum number
The Virgin of Altötting; with child, crowned, standing on an orb, wearing cloaks and decorative chains, surrounded by six angels. 1518
Pen and black ink, heightened with white bodycolour, on brown paper
Verso: Red chalk (according to Dobson)
- Production date
Height: 223 millimetres
Width: 178 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The 'Annunciation' in the E.B. Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento, dated 1514 with a monogram ('Old Master Drawings from the E.B. Crocker Collection: the German Masters, 15th to 19th centuries', exhib. cat., Sacramento, California, 1939, German Masters, Group One, no. 11, repr.), was the only drawing which was attributed to the Master of Mühldorf prior to Winzinger's reappraisal and expansion of the Master's oeuvre. Indeed, the Sacramento drawing is the sole basis for Winzinger's attribution of a small group of prints and drawings to him. Of these additions, the present drawing is the one which has perhaps the most to recommend its attribution, on grounds of style, if we allow for the differing purposes for which the two drawings were evidently made. While it cannot be said that any decisive points of close comparison are available to us, the representation of the raised head of an archangel in the' Annunciation' and the heads of the boyish angels betray a mannerism common to both. The attribution of this drawing to the Master of Mühldorf is reinforced by the subject, which represents a local image. Although Dodgson attributed the drawing to the Innsbruck artist Sebastian Scheel (c. 1479-1554), he correctly identified the subject as the earliest known representation of the early fourteenth-century statue of the Virgin in the Heilige Kapelle at Altötting, near Mühldorf, 'Die Gnadenmutter von Altötting' (C. Dodgson, op. cit., pl. 1). The Virgin is shown in the drawing with clothing and adornments which would have been draped round the statue in votive offering, and surrounded by angels which are not there today. The year 1518 was the high point of the image's veneration immediately before the Reformation, for it was then that the Emperor Maximilian I presented the chain, depicted in the drawing, as a votive offering, on the engagement of his nephew Ferdinand, son of Philip the Fair, to Anna of Hungary and Bohemia. It is possible to make out, hanging from the chain in the drawing, the arms relating to this prospective union: the two upper arms are of Austria and of the Sforza of Milan, symbolising the marriage of Maximilian I and Bianca Sforza, and below, the arms of Ferdinand.
Lit. from J. Rowlands, 'German Drawings in the British Museum..', London, 2 vols 1993, no.433: C. Dodgson, Munich Jahrbuch, NF, xii, 1937/8, pp. 45ff, repr.; Altdorfer, p. 164, no. 731; Winzinger, Zeitschr.f. Kunstwiss, xxii, Heft 1/2, 1968, pp. 18f, repr.; Hausberger, pp. 96ff, repr.; BM Dürer and Holbein, p. 154, no. 124, repr.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1938, Munich Altdorfer exhibition, cat.731
1988, July-Oct, BM, Age of Dürer & Holbein, no. 124
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- According to Dodgson's inventory card, purchased by him from T.Thorp on 15 April 1922 with three other drawings (one Durer and two Schaufelein) for £6; they came from an old album, which contained chiefly anonymous Italian drawings.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number