Alpine School 16th century - An Open Missal

Alpine School 16th century - An Open Missal - image-1
Alpine School 16th century - An Open Missal - image-1

Alpine School 16th century

An Open Missal

Oil on conifer. 43.2 x 53.5 cm.

This work belongs to a closely related group of 16th century book paintings originating from the region around Southern Germany. It shows an open liturgical volume, a so-called missal, bound in red leather and written in Gothic script with illuminated initials. The book is depicted before a black background as if recently opened, its pages irregularly illuminating by light falling in from the left as if someone had just been leafing through them.
In an essay written in 1997, Anja Schneckenburger-Broschek grouped together 13 paintings of this type. Since then, two additional works, including the present panel, have been added to this list. The similarities between this work and the other pieces in the series are astonishing, as even the bindings of the book and the ornaments and annotations of the open page are almost identical. Were these works intended merely as still lifes, in the broadest sense, or did they serve a function? There is evidence to suggest that they may have been placed on church lecterns when no mass was being read and the missal was stored away. However, for modern observers, this question is less significant than the astonishing trompe-l'oeil effect that these enigmatic works produce.


Private ownership, South Germany.


For this genre, see: A. Schneckenburger-Broschek, Altdeutsche Malerei. Die Tafelbilder und Altäre des 14. bis 16. Jahrhunderts in der Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister und im Hessischen Landesmuseum Kassel, Kassel 1997, p. 269 - 284.

Lot 1005 Dα

60.000 € - 80.000 €

59.520 €