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Gabled triptych, 2 registers; reliefs (appliqués) (Front (closed))

Gabled triptych, 2 registers; reliefs (appliqués) (Front (closed))
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Front (open)


Religious. Passion. Infancy of Christ. Life of Christ.

Repository Institution

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Aachen, Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum

KK 997

Ivory;wood (background and architectural framework)

Height: max 125mm (ivory figures); 500mm (frame)
Width: 370mm (open frame)

Wing, left
Register 1: Carrying of the Cross with the Virgin helping Christ; man holding a hammer.
Register 2: Adoring magi (part of Adoration of the Magi).
Centre panel
Register 1: Crucifixion with thieves; Virgin; saint John the Evangelist.
Register 2: Seated Virgin and Child (Vierge glorieuse); two standing angels holding candlesticks.
Wing, right
Register 1: Entombment (Anointing of Christ's body).
Register 2: Presentation in the Temple; Christ standing on the altar between the Virgin and Simeon.

Koechlin Number: 0206

Koechlin 1924: France, 2nd half of the 14th century.
Nuremberg 1993: Paris (?), mid 14th century (ivory) and Cologne (?), mid 14th century (wooden frame).
Cologne 2012: Cologne or France, c. 1330 (ivory) and Cologne, c. 1330 (wooden frame and painting).


Four hinges.

Polychromy - Gilding
Extensive traces of polychromy and gilding: green (garments; decoration of the pedestals), blue (garments), red (garments; halo), gold (hair; pattern along the hems); painted tracery, quatrefoils, wings and haloes.

The back of the wings is painted.
Back of left wing: saint Peter holding a key.
Back of right wing: saint Paul holding a sword.

Object Condition
Missing: candles in the Vierge glorieuse scene; left hand-side angel in the Vierge glorieuse scene (19th century replacement).

The framework is possibly German (Cologne) and contemporary with the rest.

Collection of Auguste Genin; donated by him to the Musée de Grenoble in 1873; sale, Grenoble, Maître Francis Gaucher, 25-26 may 1965, lot 32. Collection of Peter and Irene Ludwig: donated to the Aachen Museum in 1977.

Exposition Universelle de 1900, Catalogue illustré Officiel de l'Exposition Rétrospective de l'Art Français (Paris, 1900), no. 117.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, p. 136; II, no. 206 (in Grenoble).
E. G. Grimme, 'Ein Elfenbeinaltar des hohen Mittelalters', in Aachener Kunstblätter 35 (1968), p. 10.
Weltkunst aus Privatbesitz, ed. by H. May, exhibition catalogue, Cologne, Kunsthalle, 1968, no. 6
E. G. Grimme, Kunst Aus Drei Jahrtausenden; Das Suermondt-Museum in Aachen (Cologne, 1968), no. 35, p. 111, fig. 14.
E. G. Grimme, 'Die Schenkung Peter und Irene Ludwig für das Suermondt-Museum', in Aachener Kunstblätter 51 (1982), no. 43.
Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum Aachen, Braunschweig (1982), pp. 71-72.
E. G. Grimme, 'Die Schenkung Peter und Irene Ludwig für das Suermondt-Museum', in Aachener Kunstblätter 51 (1982), no. 43.
Ludwigs Lust: die Sammlung Irene und Peter Ludwig, dir. by M. Eissenhauer, exhibition catalogue, Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, 19 June-10 October 1993, no. 76.
Glanz und Grösse des Mittelalters, Kölner Meisterwerk aus den grossen Sammlungen der Welt, ed. by D. Täube and M. Verena Fleck, exhibition catalogue, Cologne, Schnütgen Museum, 4 November 2011-26 February 2012, no. 24, pp. 268-269.
J. Warren, Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, 3 vols (Oxford, 2014), Vol. 2: Sculptures in Stone, Clay, Ivory, Bone and Wood, p. 572, in relation to no. 166.
P. Williamson and G. Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings 1200-1550 (London, 2014), pp. 151-153, in relation to no. 46.


© Suermondt-Ludwig Museum, Aachen. Photography: Anne Gold.

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