- Museum number
Christ carrying the Cross.
Pen and black ink with grey wash on grey-green prepared vellum, with white highlights created by scratched into the vellum with a needle
- Production date
- 1420 (circa)
Height: 193 millimetres
Width: 168 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Schilling and Rowlands associated this drawing with Austrian painting of the 1420s and connected the features and gestures of the women on the left with the 'Adoration of the Christ Child' by the Master of the Vienna Adoration Virgin (Vienna, Museum Mittelalterlicher Österreichischer Kunst, inv.no.4909; Baum, 'Österreichische Galerie', p.29, no.10, col.pl.1). It was considered that the drawing could be associated with a series of Passion scenes by this artist (formerly in the Durrieu collection, Paris; see Karl Oettinger, 'Hans von Tübingen und seine Schule', Berlin, 1938, pls.41b, 42, 43a). However, Thomas Rainer's decision to display this drawing in the exhibition at Neuburg an der Donau (2016) with material associated with the illuminated multi-volume 'Ottheinrich' bible demonstrated a much stronger stylistic association with a Bavarian artist, the Master of the Worcester Carrying of the Cross, named after a small panel painting of a similar square format and subject in Chicago (The Art Institute of Chicago, 1947.79; see BM 1895,0915.962 for a further drawing, albeit in a different technique, attributed to this artist). The dramatic frontal perspective, the central position of Christ, the outline treatment of hands and feet and obscured facial expressions, is very similar in both. The unusual technique of this drawing, especially the white heightening which has been partly achieved by scratching the surface of the vellum has close parallels with the effect of heightening created with narrow, hatched lines in the small panel painting. The compositions of this artist, who is thought to have worked in Regensburg, were highly influential. It has been suggested that he taught the two main artists responsible for the large, impressive illuminations of circa 1430 in the early volumes of the manuscript bible written in a Bavarian dialect commisioned by the Palatine Count, Ludwig the Bearded (completed by his successor, Count Ottheinrich) and the style and technique of the figures in the illuminations of the so-called St Matthew painter in the Ottheinrich Bible are also comparable with the present sheet (see Rainer, op cit.pp.194-5).
Literature: R. Schilling (ed) 'Die von Edmund Schilling gesammelten Zeichnungen', published privately, Edgware, 1982, p.17, no.2; J. Rowlands 'German Drawings from a private collection', exh.cat London and Nuremberg, 1984, p.8, vo.1; J.Rowlands, 'The Age of Dürer and Holbein: German Drawings 1400-1550, p.19, no.2 ; G. Bartrum, 'Apollo', Nov. CXLVI, p.53; Brigitte Langer and Thomas Rainer (ed), 'Kunst und Glaube, Ottheinrichs Prachtbibel und die Schlosskapelle Neuburg', exhibition catalogue, Neuburg an der Donau, 2016, p. 195, no.5.2
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1984 Feb-Sept, London, Washington and Nuremberg, German Drawings
1988 July - Oct BM Age of Dürer and Holbein, no. 2
1997-8 Sept-Jan BM Schilling
2016 May -Aug, Schloss Neuburg an der Donau, 'Kunst und Glaube'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- In 1997, the Museum acquired on the death of Mrs Rosi Schilling the majority of a collection of mostly northern Old Master drawings assembled by her late husband the curator and later drawings dealer and adviser, Edmund Schilling (1888-1974). Schilling was born in Germany and came to Britain in 1937 after the rise of the Nazis. He was prominent as a specialist in German Old Master drawings and his widow’s bequest in his memory was predominantly made up of studies that he had collected in this field. Given its importance, the Museum accepted the bequest for public benefit in good faith, and has afterwards researched its history, insofar as it has been able. There remain however many works in the bequest with uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45 and the Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of these works during that era.
Schilling mentioned that the old green backing paper indicates that the drawing came from a sixteenth-century album of Hungarian origin, which contained mainly prints.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number