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Christ on the Cross between the Virgin Mary and St. John 1517

Master GZ (Gabriel Zehender, attributed)

* fl.1527 † 1535 in Basel

Woodcut with full contemporary hand colouring in yellow, green, blue, red, pink and brown. Size of sheet: 34.3 x 24.5 cm.

Lower left, on a stone, in mirror writing the letters GZ (intertwined) and the date 1517. Watermark unidentified. 


Literature:       F. Hieronymus, Oberrheinische Buchillustration, 2, Basle, 1983, no. 280 and p. XVIII. 

                       Hans Koegler in: Schweizer Künstler-Lexikon, vol. 4 (suppl.), p. 191–195, no. 5. 

                       Karlsruhe,Exhibition catalogue Hans Baldung Grien. 1959, no. 314.                

 

The attribution of this powerful crucifixion to Gabriel Zehender, the Basel painter, remains unconfirmed. First identified in 1917 by Hans Koegler as part of a small group of woodcuts printed in Basel, Hagenau and Strasbourg, the image was then attributed to Gabriel Zehender in the exhibition catalogue of Karlsruhe 1959. This attribution was contested for chronological reasons by Frank Hieronymus. The two known woodcuts with the monogram GZ both appeared in 1518, whereas Zehender seems traceable in Basel between 1529 and 1534.

 

More importantly, Hieronymus praises the outstanding quality of the crucifixion with its extensive landscape showing mountains in the background, calling it “powerful and very expressive” and identifying this crucifixion as “one of the greatest book woodcuts of its time”.  It is signed and dated in the block: 1517 GZ. (Hieronymus, p. 284 f). The woodcut was created as a Canon leaf for the Missale Ordinis sancti Benedicti reformatorum nigrorum monachorumprinted in Hagenau by Thomas Anszhelmus January 1518.


A fine example of an impressive Northern Renaissance Canon woodcut embellished with extensive strong contemporary hand colouring. Very rare.

£ 10,500.-

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