MASTER OF THE STALBURG PORTRAITS
Portraits of Claus Stalburg and Margarethe vom Rhein
Mixed technique on firwood
Inv. No. 845, 846
188.5 × 56.2 cm
An ensemble entirely unique in its day was executed in 1504 for the private chapel of the Stalburg family in Frankfurt. Claus Stalburg, “the Rich”, and his wife had themselves depicted as full-length, nearly life-size figures on the insides of the two wings originally flanking a central panel of a Crucifixion; the latter was destroyed by fire in 1813. Essentially usurping a pictorial form reserved for the high nobility – the full-length format –, the medieval donor portrait now serves the needs of a leading patrician family for prestige and self-representation. The anonymous artist, possibly already influenced by Grünewald, was probably a member of a local family of painters named Caldenbach.