A carved limewood high-relief depiction of the nativity from the workshop of Tilman Riemenschneider.
With the original polychromy and gilding, the green tones of the grass overpainted.. This piece would originally have formed the wing of a hinged altarpiece and can be dated to around 1500. The composition of the work is based on a copperplate engraving by Martin Schongauer from around 1475 (Lehrs 5). For his three-dimensional rendering of the motif, the sculptor has simplified the central perspective of the prototype, emphasising the prominent diagonal leading from the lower left to the upper right. A further relief after the same model, now stripped of polychromy, originating from the workshop of Tilman Riemenschneider is located in the Mainfränkisches Museum in Würzburg (inv. no. A 32701). It is not known from which altar the present relief originates, but the well preserved original polychromy of the work is a rarity among pieces from Riemenschneider's studio.
The angel above the Madonna lost. With minimal wear. The relief slightly warped and backed with a modern wooden panel. 86 x 67 x 7 cm.
Purchased circa 1820 and subsequently owned by the Broli family in Schloß Mühlbach in Karlstadt am Main; by descent to Munich private ownership in the 1970s. - The Dr. Bernhard Decker Collection.