National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Ascension Johann Koerbecke (artist)
German, c. 1420 - 1491
The Ascension, 1456/1457
tempera on panel
overall: 92.7 x 64.8 cm (36 1/2 x 25 1/2 in.) framed: 117.1 x 85.1 cm (46 1/8 x 33 1/2 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
On View
From the Tour: 15th and Early 16th-Century Germany
Object 4 of 8


Part of the high altar in the abbey church of the Cistercian Cloister at Marienfeld, near Münster, completed in 1456/1457, installed 6 February 1457, until 1803.[1] Charles Léon Cardon, Brussels, by 1912.[2] Rudolph Chillingworth, Lucerne, Brussels, and Nuremberg; (sale, Galeries Fischer and Frederik Muller & Cie., Lucerne, 5 September 1922, no. 47); acquired by Jacob Walter Zwicky [d. 1956], Freiburg and Arlesheim-Basel;[3] acquired 1955 by (M. Knoedler & Co., New York); jointly owned with (Pinakos, Inc. [Rudolph Heinemann], New York);[4] purchased 1957 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1959 by exchange to NGA.

[1] Alb. Wormstall, "Zur Geschichte der Liesborner und Marienfelder Altargemälde," Zeitschrift für vaterländische Geschichte und Alterthumskunde 55 (1897), 90-92, Rincklake's "Gutachten" is cited, 99-102. See also Johannes Sommer, Johann Koerbecke. Der Meister des Marienfelder Altares von 1457 (Münster 1937), 11-12, 17-18. Jochen Luckhardt, Der Hochaltar der Zisterzienserklosterkirche Marienfled. (Bildhefte des Westfälischen Landesmuseums für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Nr. 25) (Münster 1987), 24, 34, notes the tradition of reliquary altars in the Cistercian order and reproduces two examples from the fourteenth century.

[2] Exhibited with the Cardon collection in Brussels, 1912: Exposition de la Miniature [exh. cat., Palais Goffinet] (Brussels, 1912), no. 2051, as "Anonyme (Ecole de Souabe, XV siècle)".

[3] Per letter from Zicky's son, dated 20 May 1989 (NGA curatorial files). The painting was exhibited at Julius Böhler, Munich, in 1934. Böhler no. 37-34, per index to card file, Böhler Gallery Records, Getty Research Institute. No card appears to exist. Böhler likely had the picture on consignment and returned it to Zwicky.

[4] Knoedler stock book no. 10, p. 146, no. A5951, sales book no. 17, p. 314, M. Knoedler & Co. Records, Getty Research Institute (copies, NGA curatorial files).

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