- Museum number
Design for an altarpiece; with four images, centre: The Coronation of the Virgin, left wing: St Wolfgang and Mary Magdalene, right wing: St George and St Giles, predella: the Death of the Virgin, each within a rectangular border and beneath an arch of foliate decoration
Pen and brown ink, with yellow, pink, blue, grey and green wash over traces of black chalk; on four conjoined sheets
- Production date
- 1510 (circa)
Height: 344 millimetres
Width: 357 millimetres
- Curator's comments
NB SL,5218.124 is the right wing and 125 is the left wing (the mount was incorrectly stamped and the numbers are therefore given wrongly in Rowlands). Presumably no.126 is the main central section and 127 the predella, but these are now laid down and impossible to verify (the wings are not completely stuck down and the original numbers are visible).
Butts, 2006, no.A31
LITERATURE: Hausmann, Naumann's Archiv, p. 39, nos. 124-7; Hausmann, p. 110, nos. 100-3; BM Guide, 1901, p. 16, no. A72; BM Guide, 1928, p. 35, no. 311; Stadler, Kulmbach, p. 121, no. 81, repr. (for further literature); Winkler, K&S, p. 80, no. 82, repr.; Rowlands, Dürer, p. 55, no. 342; B. Butts, MD, xxiii-xxiv, no. 4, 1986, pp. 519ff., repr.; BM Dürer and Holbein, p. 131, no. 100, repr.
Listed by Hausmann as a drawing by Dürer, this design was first attributed to Kulmbach, possibly by Laurence Binyon, in the 1901 exhibition catalogue, on account of its resemblance to a study dated 1514 for the Markgraf's window in the St Sebalduskirche, Nuremberg (Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett; Woermann, ‘Dresden’, ii, nos. 45-46, pl. 7) also attributed to Kulmbach. Winkler noted the similarity in execution of the drawing to Kulmbach's studies for the Maximilian window dated 1514, also in St Sebalduskirche (Winkler, ‘K&S’, pls. 77-80), in which the use of coloured wash is handled in an identical fashion.
This drawing is not connected with any known painting, but probably also dates from this period. Although it is tinted with wash throughout, it may have been the intention for some parts of the altarpiece to have been carved rather than painted, with possibly either the ‘Coronation’ or the ‘Dormition’ below, or even both. The ‘St Anne Altarpiece’, in the St Lorenzkirche, Nuremberg (Fehring-Ress, ‘Nuremberg’, p. 102) was a late work of collaboration between Kulmbach and his studio and an unknown Nuremberg carver, perhaps the so-called 'Master of the Nuremberg Madonna', signed with Kulmbach's monogram but dated posthumously 1523. Despite being now somewhat dismantled it is a good example of such a commission. The inner wings are now divided between the Staatsgalerie, Bamberg, and the Alte Pinakothek, Munich.
Detailed drawings for altarpieces with movable shutters as seen in the present sheet were usually made for the patron's approval of a particular design. Several such drawings exist by Lucas Cranach the Elder, but SL,5218.124, SL,5218.125, SL,5218.126 and SL,5218.127 are the only of this type known by Kulmbach.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1901, BM London, Guide Drawings&Sketches Old Masters, no. A72
1928 BM London, Guide Woodcuts, Drawings of A. Dürer, no.311
1988, July-Oct, BM, Age of Dürer & Holbein, no. 100
1971, BM, Dúrer no.342
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: C,07.124
Miscellaneous number: C,07.125
Miscellaneous number: C,07.126
Miscellaneous number: C,07.127