St. John the Baptist

Object Details

Title:

St. John the Baptist

Artist/Maker(s):

Master of the Harburger Altar (German, active about 1500 - 1515)

Culture:

German

Place(s):

Germany (Place created)

Date:

about 1515

Medium:

Partially polychromed limewood

Dimensions:

152.1 x 49 x 30 cm (59 7/8 x 19 5/16 x 11 13/16 in.)

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Saint John the Baptist cradles the Holy Lamb, a symbol of the sacrificial Christ. The sculpture illustrates the saint's exclamation, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

Glimpsed beneath his billowing mantle is a tattered shift of camel's skin, as described in the Bible. The camel's bearded head rests between the saint's feet. Originally the sculpture was one of two figures flanking a central figure of Christ or the Virgin and Child within a winged altarpiece. It has lost most of its original paint.

Provenance
- 1933

Jakob Oppenheimer (Altkunst, Antiquitäten, Berlin, Germany), looted by the Nazis, 1933.

and Rosa Oppenheimer

Dr. B. Griebert (Constance, Germany)

and Rosa Oppenheimer [sold, European Sculpture and Works of Art, Medieval to Modern, Sotheby's, London, December 6, 2011, lot 23, to The J. Paul Getty Museum.]

1933 - 1937

In the possession of the Nazis [sold, Auktionshaus Dr. Walther Achenbach, Berlin, September 30, 1937, lot 823, plate 20.]

after 1937

Gebrüder Heinemann (Wiesbaden, Germany)

1955

Unknown, on loan to the Kunsthaus, Zurich

- 1985

Private Collection (Switzerland) [sold, Skulpturen, Auktionshaus Galerie Koller, Zurich, November 22, 1985, lot 1405, to Württembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart.]

1986 - 2011

Landesmuseum Württemberg (Stuttgart, Germany), restituted to the heirs of Jakob and Rosa Oppenheimer.

2011

Heirs of Jakob Oppenheimer

Bibliography

Auktionshaus Dr. Walther Achenbach, Berlin. Aus den Restbeständen der Altkunst G.m.b.H., i. Liqu. September 20-22, 1937, p. 57, lot. 823, fig. 20.

Galerie Koller, Zurich. Möbel, Bronzen, Skulpturen, Porzellane, Fayencen, Silber, Dosen, frühes Kunstgewerbe, Uhren, Jugendstil, Glas, Teppiche, Ikonen, Varia, Schmuck. November 21-28, 1985, p. 14, lot 1405, fig. 4.

Beye, Peter, et al. "Württembergisches Landesmuseum." Jahrbuch der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen in Baden-Württemberg 24 (1987), pp. 198-99, fig. 10.

Miller, Albrecht. "Der Bildhauer des Harburger Altars: Zu einer Erwerbung für due Cadolzburg." In Bayerische Schlösser: Bewahren und Erforschen (Munich: Bayerische Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen, 1996), pp. 10-11, fig. 4.

Lichte, Claudia, and Heribert Meurer. Die mittelalterlichen Skulpturen. 2 Stein- und Holzskulpturen 1400 - 1530. Ulm und südliches Schwaben. 2 vols. (Stuttgart: Landesmuseum Württemberg, 2007), vol. 1, pp. 269-270.

Lichte, Claudia, and Heribert Meurer. Die mittelalterlichen Skulpturen. 2 Stein- und Holzskulpturen 1400 - 1530. Ulm und südliches Schwaben. 2 vols. (Stuttgart: Landesmuseum Württemberg, 2007), vol. 2, pp. 188-189, ill.

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