Exterior Wings of the Frankfurt Dominican Altarpiece, Hans Holbein the Elder
Hans Holbein the Elder
Exterior Wings of the Frankfurt Dominican Altarpiece
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Hans Holbein the Elder

Exterior Wings of the Frankfurt Dominican Altarpiece, 1501


Gesamtmaß mit Rahmen
349.0 x 322.0 cm
Physical Description
Mixed technique on spruce
Inventory Number
HM 6-9
Acquisition
On permanent loan from Historisches Museum Frankfurt am Main since 1922
Status
See Parts

Texts

About the Work

In the late 16th century Michael Praetorius composed the music for the Christmas carol “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” which remains popular to this day. He probably had in mind representations of the “Tree of Jesse” like this one on the Dominican altarpiece. The vine illustrates Jesus’ line of descent from the Jewish patriarchs Abraham and Isaac through Jesse, David, Solomon, and Mary: “Of Jesse’s lineage coming.”

For the Dominicans Holbein added a parallel image to the “Tree of Jesse”: Beginning with the order’s founder Dominic, he presents a spiritual family tree of all the saints that emerged from within the order’s ranks. In the ecclesiastical rivalry with the Frankfurt Carmelites and Franciscans, the Dominicans thus presented themselves to the faithful as effective intermediaries for salvation. The painting succinctly illustrates the Dominicans’ privileged access to heaven in the centre of the composition: The Blessed Virgin Mary herself bestows the white scapular on the Dominican Saint Reginald of Orléans as part of his monastic habit.

Audio & Video

  • Basic information
    01:01
  • Focus on Frankfurt
    01:35
  • Focus on art history
    01:51
  • Focus on material
    01:50
  • Exhibition “Holbein and the Renaissance in the North” (2023)
    01:51
  • Gastkommentar: Kirchliche Macht und weltliches Recht mit Rechtshistoriker Thomas Duve
    Was sieht ein Rechtshistoriker in den Werken der Städel Sammlung? In diesem Gastkommentar eröffnet Thomas Duve (Direktor am Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte) seine individuelle Sichtweise auf die Kunstwerke im Städel Museum. Er schaut sich den "Stammbaum der Dominikaner" von Hans Holbein d. Ä. an und führt aus, warum der Dominikanerorden von besonderer Bedeutung für die Rechtsgeschichte war. Am Beispiel von Johannes Vermeers "Der Geograf" blickt er auf das Delft des 17. Jahrhunderts und die Ausbildung von informellen Imperien. Mehr Infos unter: https://www.staedelmuseum.de/de/angebote/gastkommentar Die Werke in unserer Digitalen Sammlung Hans Holbein d. Ä., Stammbaum der Dominikaner (1501): https://sammlung.staedelmuseum.de/de/werk/werktagsseite-des-frankfurter-dominikaneraltars Johannes Vermeer, Der Geograf (1669): https://sammlung.staedelmuseum.de/de/werk/der-geograf

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Exterior Wings of the Frankfurt Dominican Altarpiece
Painter
Altar
High Altar of the Dominican Church in Frankfurt
Panel
Tree of Jesse
High Altar of the Dominican Church in Frankfurt: Tree of Jesse
Lineage of the Dominican Order
Lineage of the Dominican Order
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Physical Description
Mixed technique on spruce
Material
Technique
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Bezeichnet unten rechts: Anno [...] Mo Vo Primo [...] Hans Hoilbayn de Augusta Me Pinxit.

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Departement
Collection
Creditline
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Dauerleihgabe des Historischen Museums Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquisition
On permanent loan from Historisches Museum Frankfurt am Main since 1922

Work Content

Iconclass

Primary
  • 42G1 family lineage, pedigree, genealogical tree or table
  • 73A21 tree of Jesse: genealogical tree showing Christ's ancestors, sprouting from Jesse's loins
  • 11FF4222 Mary sitting or enthroned, the Christ-child sitting on her knee (Christ-child to Mary's left) - FF - the Christ-child to Mary's right
  • 11P315(DOMINICANS) monastic orders, monastic life: Dominicans
  • 11F4222 Mary sitting or enthroned, the Christ-child sitting on her knee (Christ-child to Mary's left)
  • 11H(DOMINIC) Dominic(us) Guzman of Calerueja, founder of the Order of Preachers (or Dominican (Black) Friars; possible attributes: book, dog with flaming torch, lily, loaf of bread, rosary, star
Secondary

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Last update

10.04.2024