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Provenance

Possibly a museum in Breslau (now Wroclaw).[1] (Charles de Burlet, Berlin, 1916.); Dr. Otto Fröhlich, Vienna, 1916;[2] sold to Stefan Auspitz [1869-1945], Vienna, until 1931.[3] (Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc., New York, owned jointly with Pinakos, Inc. [Rudolf Heinemann], by 1951);[4] purchased 1951 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1952 by exchange to NGA.

Bibliography
1956
Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Colllection Acquired by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation 1951-56. Introduction by John Walker, text by William E. Suida and Fern Rusk Shapley. National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1956: 84, 86, no. 31, repro. 87, as by German Master.
1959
Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959: 315, repro., as by German Master.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 57, as German School.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture: Illustrations (Companion to the Summary Catalogue, 1965). Washington, 1968: 49, no. 1164, repro., as German School.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 150, repro., as German School.
1975
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: 151, no. 166, repro.
1977
Eisler, Colin. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools Excluding Italian. Oxford, 1977: 43, fig. 42, as German School, Second Half of XVI Century.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 151, no. 160, color repro., as by German School.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 29, repro., as Anonymous German 16th Century.
1987
Rapp, Jürgen. "Das Ligsalz-Epitaph des Münchner Renaissancemalers Hans Mielich." Anzeiger des Germanischen Nationalmuseums 1987: 163, 166, repro. 165.
1990
Rapp, Jürgen. "Kreuzigung und Höllenfahrt Christi, zwei Gemälde von Hans Mielich in der National Gallery of Art, Washington." Anzeiger des Germanischen Nationalmuseums (1990): 65-96, repro. 67, 77.
1993
Hand, John Oliver, with the assistance of Sally E. Mansfield. German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, 1993: 152-159, color repro. 157.
1995
Löcher, Kurt. Review of German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries, by John Oliver Hand with the assistance of Sally E. Mansfield. Kunstchronik 43 no. 1 (January 1995): 19.
2004
Eakin, Hugh. "Unfinished Business." Artnews 103, no. 7 (Summer 2004): 160-161, color repro.
Technical Summary

The original support is composed of two pieces of wood with vertically oriented grain. The panel has been thinned, mounted on hardboard with a mahogany veneer, and cradled. Strips of wood were added to all sides. At the left edge the thin ground rises in a ridge that resembles a barbe but is covered with a continuous layer of paint. The right edge appears to have been cut and scraped. Examination with infrared reflectography reveals underdrawing throughout, similar to that found in the companion Crucifixion. There is an underdrawn grid laid in with a dry brush. The figures are underdrawn in a free, sketchy manner in a liquid medium, but using a dry brush that in places skips over the striated ground layer. The landscape and the architecture are also underdrawn, although, as in The Crucifixion, neither is followed closely in the paint layer. At the bottom of the panel a series of heads, one definitely female, is visible in the x-radiograph but not in infrared reflectography. The heads have been partially painted out, leaving a 0.5 cm band of original paint visible at the extreme bottom. In general the underdrawing is more vigorous and the musculature more pronounced than in the painted stage. Abrasion and pitting as well as areas of inpainting are evident throughout.