MASTER OF THE PFULLENDORF ALTAR

Birth of Christ

active ca. 1500

Mixed technique on firwood
Inv. No. SG 455

103 × 71 cm

zur  Biographie

The Städel owns four panels originally belonging to the work identifying this anonymous painter; the others are in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. The doubly transformable retable is thought to have come from the Church of St. James in Pfullendorf near Lake Constance and once represented a chief work of Ulm painting in the period around 1500. Bright colours and the depiction of strongly perspectival depth are as characteristic of this style as the elongated figures with mild, somewhat simple-looking facial expressions. The candle in Joseph’s hand is mentioned in the visions of St. Birgitta of Sweden, where their terrestrial glow is outshone by the splendour emanating from the divine Child.

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