Sotheby’s London, 8 December 1994, lot 50; private collection, Belgium
This impressive Virgin of the Crescent Moon can be ascribed with little doubt to the Upper Austrian sculptor Lienhart Astl, who ran a workshop in Gmunden between circa 1505-1523. The composition finds a direct comparison in the central group of his signed Lady Altar in Hallstatt, one of the most significant and elaborate altarpieces in Upper Austria (see Foto Marburg, inv. no. fm1782591). Note also the Virgin's delicate features and high forehead, the droll portliness of the Child, and the heavy concentric drapes, which are closely analogous to the Hallstadt figures.
RELATED LITERATURE A. Legner, Spätgotik in Salzburg: Skulptur und Kunstgewerbe 1400-1530, exh. cat. Neues Haus, Salzburg, 1976, p. 143, no. 265 and pl. 207
Overall the condition of the sculpture is good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There is wear to the polychromy throughout, including some flaking. It is possible that the polychromy could have been refreshed in areas. There is some flaking of the polychromy at the Virgin's face. In one or two areas, notably in the Virgin's hair, the paint has chipped showing the gesso ground. Some small areas of wear to the folds of the drapery, including to the blue sleeve falling from the Virgin's proper left arm, appear to be slightly restored. There is some minor stable splitting to the wood consistent with the material, mostly visible at the back. There is a more prominent split running down the proper right side at the back. There is a small loss to Christ's proper right thumb. There is a hole to Christ's head, probably for a lost halo. There is a later wood board at the bottom. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."