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Inscription

across bottom: (cross) Sanctus Alcuinus (cross); on scroll across chest: (decorative elements); on blade of sword: (decorative "A"); on back of glove: (decorative "A" in a circle)

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 panel is constructed of four boards of spruce wood, joined vertically, with vertical grain. Dendrochronological analysis revealed that the boards match those of the Saint Alban of Mainz panel (1972.73.1) in reverse, the two once having formed obverse and reverse of one wing of an altarpiece.[1]

The Saint Alcuin panel is comparable to the #Saint Wolfgang# panel in technique, with both having formed exterior wings. The panel has a relatively thin white ground. Work was first carried out on areas to be gilded, such as the tracery, staff, sword, and decoration of the miter. Gilding was applied directly to the white ground, with black underpaint used to create shadows. Underdrawing is visible to the naked eye in areas of flesh tone. Viewed with infrared reflectography, it appears to have been applied throughout the composition in a vigorous style with a brush. Line drawing establishes both outline and detail; washes are used to establish shadow.

As is the case with the other three panels of the altarpiece, losses have been rather extensive, there is a slight washboarding effect, the paint surface has cupped, and there are a number of checks. Retouching was carried out in two stages. There is a fair amount of retouching from the first, older state in the saint's right side, on the miter, on the bottom of the panel to either side of the saint, in the lettering, and in the gilded areas, especially following the tracery. This retouching is quite generalized and covers much original paint. The second stage of retouching, which seems confined to losses, can be seen in the center of the figure. There are also some unusual paint losses. These are rectangular in shape and appear in the saint's left hand, sword hilt, cloak, and lower and central parts of his robe.

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