Madonna and Child in a Window

Object Details

Title:

Madonna and Child in a Window

Artist/Maker(s):

Martin Schongauer (German, about 1450/1453 - 1491)

Culture:

German

Place(s):

Germany (Place created)

Date:

about 1485 - 1490

Medium:

Oil on panel

Dimensions:

16.5 x 11 cm (6 1/2 x 4 5/16 in.)

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Although he was reportedly a prolific painter, this panel is one of only seven paintings by Martin Schongauer in existence today. It belongs to a group of four Andachtsbilder, or devotional paintings, created near the end of his life. In his engravings Schongauer already had explored the theme of the Madonna and Child reading a book in a niche, symbolizing the Virgin's role as Christ's tutor. Here he balanced the Madonna's serenity with the lively Christ Child and the book's fluttering pages. Her dignified face, with its polished modeling and delicate features, is typical of Schongauer, who was heavily influenced by Flemish painter Rogier van der Weyden's art. Mary's cascade of gently flowing hair shows Schongauer's sensitivity to the expressive potential of line. His attention to detail is especially evident in the thin gold seams in Mary's cloak, the jeweled crown, and the figures' fine facial features. In the background, an angel holds the crown and scepter. Since the 1500s, Schongauer has been credited with bringing the advances of Netherlandish Renaissance art to Germany. He was the main inspiration for Germany's next generation of artists, notably Albrecht Dürer. Schongauer's engravings had far-reaching impact, influencing Italian artists such as Michelangelo.

Provenance

Klinkosch (Vienna, Austria)

Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, Austrian, 1845 - 1934 (Paris, France)

- 1938

Rudolf von Gutmann, died 1966 (Vienna, Austria), sold under pressure to Baroness von Ferstl, 1938.

1938

Baroness von Ferstl (Vienna, Austria), possibly sold under pressure to Hubert Pugl, 1938.

1938

Hubert Pugl (Graz, Austria), sold to the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, 1938.

1938 - 1945

Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen (Munich, Germany)

1945 - 1947

Military Government of Bavaria (Germany), restituted to the Austrian government, 1947.

1947 - early 1950s

Austrian Government, restituted to the heirs of Rudolf von Gutmann, early 1950s.

early 1950s - mid 1950s

Rudolf von Gutmann, died 1966 (Canada), transferred to Gutmann Foundation, mid 1950s.

mid 1950s - 1997

Leo and Karen Gutmann Foundation, sold through Alte Kunst Stiftung (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997.

Exhibitions
Spatmittelalter am Oberrhein (September 29, 2001 to February 2, 2002)
  • Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, September 29, 2001 to February 2, 2002
German and Central European Manuscript Illumination (February 24 to May 24, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 24 to May 24, 2009
Albrecht Durer: His Art in the Context of Its Time (October 24, 2013 to February 2, 2014)
  • Städel Museum, (Frankfurt am Main), October 24, 2013 to February 2, 2014
Bibliography

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 116, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 110, ill.

Zuffi, Stefano. Gospel Figures in Art. Thomas Michael Hartmann, trans. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), p. 52.

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