F. Winkler, "A Suabian Painter of about 1480", in The Art Quarterly, vol. 19, 1956, pp. 255-263, reproduced p. 257, fig. 1 (as a Swabian Master, circa 1480, under the influence of Martin Schongauer);
B. Bushart, "Studien zu altschwäbischen Malerei. Ergänzungen und Berichtigen zu Alfred Stanges Deutsche Malerei der Gotik...", in Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, vol. 22, 1959, pp. 139-143 (as Ludwig Schongauer);
B. Bushart (ed.), Hans Holbein der Ältere und die Kunst der Spätgotik, exhibition catalogue, Augsburg 1965, pp. 127-8 (as Ludwig Schongauer);
A. Stange, Kritisches Verzeichnis der deutschen Tafelbilder vor Dürer, vol. 2, Munich 1970, no. 606 (as Workshop of Ludwig Schongauer);
W. Beeh (ed.), Deutsche Malerei um 1260 bis 1550 im Hessischen Landesmuseum Darmstadt, Darmstadt, 1990, p. 184, under no. 49 (here and in all subsequent literature as Ludwig Schongauer);
C. Heck & E. Moench-Scherer, Catalogue général des peintures du Musée d'Unterlinden, Colmar, 1991, pp. 307-314, under no. 451;
D. Müller, "Zur Ludwig Schongauer Problematik", in Le beau Martin, acts of the colloquium, Musée d'Unterlinden, 30 Sept, 1-2 Oct 1991, Colmar 1991, p. 312;
Martin Schongauer, Maître de la gravure rhenane vers 1450-1491, exhibition catalogue, Paris 1991/2, p. 64;
C. Heck, in The Dictionary of Art, London 1996, vol. 28, p. 154;
A. Moraht-Fromm, in D. Lüdke (ed.), Spätmittelalter am Oberrhein, exhibition catalogue, Stuttgart 2001, pp. 35-6;
A. Mensger, in D. Lüdke (ed.), Spätmittelalter am Oberrhein, exhibition catalogue, Stuttgart 2001, pp. 246-7, no. 139a, reproduced.
Ludwig Schongauer was the younger brother of the more illustrious Martin. He was much more prolific as a painter than his sibling, though he also drew and engraved. Although he probably trained in Colmar, and returned there in 1491 following his brother's death, he made his name in Ulm, where he married and became a citizen in 1479. Later, in 1486, he was in Augsburg. This panel is from a putative Marienaltar painted circa 1480 (thus presumably in Ulm), of which four further constituent panels are known. One, a Visitation now in Darmstadt, was also exhibited in Karlsruhe.1 The other three are an Adoration of the Kings in Darmstadt, a Circumcision in Colmar, and a Nativity in Philadelphia.2 The present panel and those in Philadelphia and Colmar (then in the Louvre) were first connected with each other by Friedrich Winkler, who placed them correctly in Ulm, circa 1480, and acknowledged their debt to Martin Schongauer, but in discussing possible authors, failed to mention Martin's brother Ludwig, perhaps because he was unaware of Ludwig's activity in Ulm.3 It was left to Bruno Bushart to make this step, and to link them convincingly with Ludwig Schongauer's output in Swabia.4 Mensger sees the panels of this Marienaltar as depicting the Joys of Mary.5
Professor Friedrich Sarre (1865-1945; see provenance) was a distinguished archaeologist, museum curator and collector. He co-directed the excavations at Samarra with Ernst Herzfeld and was instrumental in building up the core holdings of the Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin, where he acted as chief curator for many years.
1. Tempera on canvas, marouflaged on panel, 42 by 30 cm. Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum, inv. no. GK 15 A; see Mensger, under literature, no. 139b, reproduced. The Darmstadt panel was transferred to canvas and marouflaged onto a later panel, and the present work has also been described as on canvas, marouflaged. As a recent technical examination has confirmed, it is quite clearly still on its original pinewood panel, with no evidence of any layer of canvas or linen between the paint and the panel, and it seems likely that the Darmstadt and other constituent panels were all also originally on pinewood panels. The medium of the present panel has been catalogued in the past as tempera and oil, but there is no evidence of any tempera.
2. Adoration: Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum; Circumcision: Colmar, Musée d'Unterlinden (but sent there from the Louvre, where located in earlier literature); see Mensger, op. cit., reproduced fig. 139/2; Nativity: Philadelphia, Museum of Art; see Moraht-Fromm, under literature, reproduced p. 34, fig. 7.
3. See under literature, 1959 & 1965.
4. See under literature, 1965.
5. See under literature, 2001.
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