Lot 7
  • 7

Upper Rhenish School, circa 1480

50,000 - 70,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Ecce Homo
  • inscribed upper centre: pylatus, ecce homo; elsewhere on banderoles: crucifige eum; tolle tolle crucifige eum; crucifige eu; and on the border of the robe lower left: EVOT III 
  • tempera on softwood panel, in an old carved and gilt wood tabernacle frame
  • 49.4 by 34.2 cm.; 19 1/2  by 13 1/2  in.


Fernand Stuyck, Antwerp;
With P. de Boer, Amsterdam, 1961, no. 35;
Hans Becker, Dortmund, by 1967, and probably until circa 1975;
With Hans M. Cramer, The Hague, 1975–76 (Catalogue XX, no. 16);
Dr Hinrich Bischoff, Berlin;
Thence by descent.


Kassel, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, on loan (inv. L. 1099).


R. Fritz, Sammlung Becker, vol. I, Gemälde Alter Meister, Dortmund 1967, (unpaginated), no. 8, reproduced (as Master of the Gewandstudien [formerly known as the Master of the Coburg Roundels], Upper-Rhenish, circa 1480);
A. Stange, Die deutschen Tafelbilder vor Dürer, Munich 1970, vol. 2, p. 49, no. 163 (listed under works from the Workshop of and by followers of the Master of the Coburg Roundels, and as depicting Christ before Pilate);
A. Büttner, in E. Mai (ed.), Das Kabinett des Sammlers, pp. 60–62, no. 24, reproduced (as North-Netherlandish or Upper Rhenish, circa 1480). 

Catalogue Note

While consistently regarded as a work painted around 1480, this painting's region of origin has oscillated between the geographically remote Upper Rhenish and Northern Netherlandish Schools. While its iconography is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch, for example in his Ecce Homo in Frankurt, Städel, the softwood panel support points towards the Upper Rhine, where the artist known as The Master of the Drapery Studies (formerly The Master of the Coburg Roundels) is thought to have been active, perhaps in Strasbourg.1 Andreas Büttner noted similarities between this picture and the glass paintings of Peter Hemmel von Andlau (circa 1420–1506), whose workshop was in Strasbourg.This, together with a manifest adherence to the pictorial tradition of the Master of the Housebook, points to an artist active in the Upper Rhine, possibly Strasbourg, immediately preceding Martin Schöngauer.

The reddish stone of the steps also points to the region of the Upper Rhine, where the distinctive ubiquitous sandstone is of a strongly reddish hue, particularly on the east bank of the river. 

The Becker collection was largely dispersed on consignment by Hans Cramer, so this work probably remained in the collection until circa 1975.

1. The Master of the Coburg Roundels was named after two panels of tondo form formerly in Veste Coburg.
2. See under Literature.