Christ before Caiaphas, a miniature on vellum from a prayerbook.[Germany, Nuremberg, c. 1520]




A miniature of Christ before Caiaphas (after Dürer) delicately painted in colours and liquid gold within a full Flemish-style flower and insect border on a yellow ground of caterpillar, snail and butterfly and flowers growing from a flowerpot, all within a grey surround, verso blank (some loss of paint to cloud in upper left-hand corner, border rubbed).

Single leaf on vellum (180 x 130 mm).

This is one of a group of leaves that survive from a Prayerbook, with miniatures mostly from the Passion of Christ. This miniature of Christ before Caiaphas is copied from Albrecht Dürer's woodcut of the same subject found in his Small Passion of 1511 (Bartsch 29).  A very similar version of the composition is found in the Passio Christi produced for the Nuremberg patrician Hieronymus Holzshuher, firmly attributed to Nikolaus Glockendon, dated 1521, now at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (BSB, Cgm 9600).

Two further leaves are found at the Morgan Library in New York (Ecce Homo and Christ nailed to the Cross: MS M.896.1-2) bought from Maggs in 1959 where it is noted that another leaf (Bruce Ferrini, Catalogue 2, pp. 118-119) had been attributed to Monogrammist 'M', an artist in the circle of Nuremberg illuminator Nickolaus Glockendon (d. 1534). Maggs also had a leaves with the Crucifixion and the Entombment as items 100 & 101 in European Bulletin no. 12 (June 1984).

Nikolaus Glockendon was the most outstanding South German miniaturist in the early 16th century and a member of the Dürer circle. He was known for his hand-painted versions of contemporary prints, which he produced as illustrations to complete manuscripts or as independent works on vellum. His major patron, Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg (1480-1545), perhaps the greatest German collector of manuscripts of the time, commissioned both types of work. Glockendon worked during the post-Gutenberg era of the book, when illuminators, monumental painters, and printmakers all competed for a share in the market for illustrated texts. Illuminators such as Glockendon were able to expand their productive capacity by offering not only custom made manuscripts, but also single-leaf miniatures to patrons who desired illustrations for independently produced or pre-existing manuscripts and printed books. His close association with Dürer can be seen from Dürer's letter to Cardinal Albrecht dated 4 September 1523: "I at once went to Nikolaus Glockendon about the Missal . . . He has not yet got it finished, and he told me that he has still seven large subjects to paint" (See: W. M. Conway, Literary Remains of Albrecht Dürer, 1889, p. 128)..

Stock Code: 247059

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