Model sheet with symbols of the Evangelists, various animals and a wild man

ca. 1430/40

Brush drawing in white on black prepared paper
Inv. No. 638 (Acquired in 1854 as a gift from Johann David Passavant)

20.9 × 14.3 cm

The draughtsman who produced the remarkable black-grounded model sheet (ca. 1430/40) displaying fifteen figures and a foliage detail executed in white with a brush was presumably a native of the Upper Rhine. Depiction in a light shade on a dark ground was rare: this work may have been the model sheet of an enamel painter striving for an effect similar to that of his finished product. Yet the artful treatment of the surface is likewise unusual, since the individual motifs are intentionally interrelated. It is this compositional character that constitutes the drawing’s extraordinary quality, for it is considered quite an atypical example of the model or design sheets serving in Medieval workshops for the repetition and dissemination of motifs.
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