The Painted Triptychs of Fifteenth-Century Germany

The Painted Triptychs of Fifteenth-Century Germany

Case Studies of Blurred Boundaries

This book presents four case studies that interrogate how German fifteenth-century painted triptychs engage with, and ultimately blur various boundaries. Some of the boundaries are internal to the triptych format, for example, transgressed frames between narratives scenes on triptychs’ interiors, or interconnections between imagery on triptychs’ interiors and exteriors. Other blurred boundaries are regional ones between the Netherlands and Cologne; metaphysical ones between heaven and earth; and artistic distinctions between the media of painting and sculpture. The book’s case studies, which shed new light on Conrad von Soest, Stefan Lochner, and the Master of the St. Bartholomew Altarpiece, illuminate the importance of German fifteenth-century painting, while providing a fresh assessment of relations between German triptychs and their more famous Netherlandish counterparts—and demonstrating the value of probing Medialität, the implications of format and medium for generating meaning. The book’s coda assesses the triptych in the age of Dürer.
  • Cover
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
    • Historiography
    • Methodology, Scope, and Theme of this Study
    • The Case Studies
    • Works Cited
  • 1. Framed Boundaries: Conrad von Soest and Early Fifteenth-Century Westphalian Triptychs
    • Blurred Boundaries in the Niederwildungen Altarpiece
    • Blurred Boundaries in Other Works by Conrad von Soest
    • Sources for Conrad von Soest’s Treatment of the Boundaries
    • Blurred Boundaries in the Followers of Conrad von Soest
    • The Impact Elsewhere
    • Works Cited
  • 2. Transparent Boundaries: Colour on the Exterior of German Fifteenth-Century Triptychs
    • The Absence of Grisaille on German Triptych Exteriors
    • Gabriel Angler’s Grisailles
    • The Presence of Grisaille on the Exteriors of German Fifteenth- and Early Sixteenth-Century Triptychs
    • The Role of Colour within the Triptych
    • The Role of Simulated Sculpture within the Triptych
    • German Triptychs and the Transparency of the Boundary Between Exterior and Interior
    • Works Cited
  • 3. Regional Boundaries: Rogier van der Weyden’s Columba Altarpiece and Cross-Influences Between the Netherlands and Cologne
    • The Columba Triptych and the Impact of Cologne Patronage
    • The Columba Triptych and the Impact of Lochner
    • Netherlandish Features of the Columba Altarpiece
    • The Impact of Rogier’s Triptych on Cologne Artists of the Second Half of the Fifteenth Century
    • Postscript: Memling at the Nexus Between the Rogierian and Cologne Triptych Traditions
    • Works Cited
  • 4. Spiritual Boundaries: The Master of the St. Bartholomew Altarpiece and the Border between Reality and Eternity
    • Regional Boundaries
    • The Ironic Edge
    • The Boundaries of Media
    • The Holy Cross Triptych
    • The St. Thomas Triptych
    • The St. Bartholomew Triptych and the London/Mainz Wings
    • Works Cited
  • 5. Coda: The Triptych in the Age of Dürer
    • Dürer’s Triptychs
    • Hans Baldung Grien’s Triptychs
    • Cranach’s Triptychs
    • Works Cited
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • List of Illustrations



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