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Inscription

across bottom: (cross) Sanctus (cross) Wolfgang (cross); on clip of pennant: ihs

Provenance

Mrs. Joanne Freedman [d. 1982], Washington, D.C., by 1972; gift 1972 to NGA.

Bibliography
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 258, repro., as Follower of Michael Pacher.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 297, repro., as Follower of Michael Pacher.
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: 187-193, repro. 191.
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): 20.
Technical Summary

The dendrochronological analysis shows that the three vertically joined spruce wood boards used to construct the panel match those of the Saint Valentine panel (1972.73.3), in reverse.[1] The technique is consistent with that in Saint Alban of Mainz (1972.73.1) except for the absence of fabric on the upper third of the panel. Areas to be gilded, such as the tracery, staff, and miter, were worked first, with gilding applied directly onto the white ground; no bole layer appears between. Infrared reflectography reveals that underdrawing established outlines throughout and that washes where used to create shadows. The only change seems to be in the saint's right hand; the outline of the index finger extends farther in the underdrawing than the final painted version. The screen is textured, with a combination of tooled lines and thick paint, as in the Saint Alban. The surface pattern was created in black paint; black outlines also appear in the tracery, around the model of the church, and around the axe.

Throughout the panel there are areas of severe cupping, slight washboarding, and a series of checks. The left side of the saint's cloak is badly damaged, and there are severe losses along the bottom edge of the panel, along the central join, and in the saint's upper left arm, extending into the background. Retouching appears to have been carried out in two stages: the first and older stage was more generalized, extending over original paint; the second was confined to specific losses. The retouching is visible in the gilded areas, along the sides of the panel, in the lower section, in the figure, and following the lines of the tracery. The crudely applied lines in the model of the church are later retouching.

[1] As identified by Peter Klein, examination report, 26 September 1987, in NGA curatorial files.