Oil on panel
101 x 138 (open) x 69 (closed)
The three panel paintings in the original framing, which closes semicircular above the central painting after lateral flares, the side framing accordingly
The painter is not yet known by name. The designation is therefore an emergency name for a series of works that correspond stylistically to such an extent that one can speak of one hand. An altarpiece dated 1518, which was painted for the Marienkirche in Lübeck, is the starting point that gave rise to this name. Style comparisons allow other works to be assigned here. Jan Mertens, Jan Gossaert and Jan van Dornicke were among the possible names behind this group of works.
It is striking that the majority of the works assigned here are thematically similar. So the worship of the kings does not stand here separately. Ancient Roman arched architecture or ruined arches are almost always associated with this topic. Here, too, both the main scene and the side pictures are provided with the same set pieces. This corresponds entirely to the interest of the Renaissance.
A rough stone arch accompanies the scenery in the central picture: Maria is seated on the right on an antique cornice, holding the child in her hands and leaning towards the bearded king, who is bringing a golden lidded vessel. His crown over turban and the scepter are laid on the ground. In the background, Josef in a red cloak follows what is happening. On the left two armored men, the king's entourage. The painter has placed the other two royal figures in the two side panels. Assigning the kings to their names is difficult, since the attributes cannot be clearly distinguished here. The youngest, dark-skinned African, controls the right wing. In the upper parts, views of landscapes, with castle complexes, antique arches and buildings. An ox and donkey are only shown very marginally on the left edge of the picture. The head portrait on the right edge of the central panel could be a self-portrait of the painter.
S. van Bellingen, De meester van 1518, in De Brabantse Folklore 251 (1986), pp. 236-2441
Max J Friedlander, The Antwerp Mannerists of 1520, in Yearbook of the Royal Prussian Art Collections 36 (1915), p 65-91
Max J Friedlander, The Old Dutch Painters Vol. XI, Berlin, 1933
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