The Frankfurt Altarpiece of the Exaltation of the True Cross:
The Testing of the Cross (middle right), Adam Elsheimer
Adam Elsheimer
The Frankfurt Altarpiece of the Exaltation of the True Cross: The Testing of the Cross (middle right)
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Adam Elsheimer

The Frankfurt Altarpiece of the Exaltation of the True Cross: The Testing of the Cross (middle right), 1603 – 1605


Dimensions
14.8 x 16.3 x 0.1 cm
Physical Description
Oil on copper
Inventory Number
2140
Acquisition
Acquired in 1978 as part of a donation campaign by Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V., property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
Status
On display, 2nd upper level, Old Masters

Texts

About the Acquisition

When the Städelsches Kunstinstitut was founded, the Frankfurt artist Adam Elsheimer immediately became the focus of its collecting policy and research interest. Johann Friedrich Städel himself believed he owned a work by the famous Baroque fine artist. Especially after the Second World War, intensive efforts began with regard to the artist, culminating in an Elsheimer exhibition in 1966. In those days, no one could have foreseen that a small miracle would soon take place. Between 1971 and 1981 the Städel was able to reunite the seven-part Altar of the Holy Cross, familiar from archive material, by purchasing the five remaining panels scattered across the world. The Museums-Verein, which had been founded in 1899 and reorganised in 1957, played the main role in financing the purchase with its specific fundraising campaigns.

Audio

  • 01:43
    Basic information
  • 01:57
    Focus on Frankfurt
  • 01:55
    Focus on material

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
The Frankfurt Altarpiece of the Exaltation of the True Cross: The Testing of the Cross (middle right)
Painter
Altar
The Altarpiece of the Exaltation of the True Cross
Part Number / Total
4 / 7
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on copper
Material
Technique

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Creditline
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Eigentum des Städelschen Museums-Vereins e.V.
Picture Copyright
CC BY-SA 4.0 Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquisition
Acquired in 1978 as part of a donation campaign by Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V., property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif
Persons Shown
Associated Persons and Institutions
Illustrated Passage
  • Die Legenda aurea des Jacobus de Voragine, übersetzt von Richard Benz, Heidelberg 1984, S. 355, 356

Iconclass

Primary
  • 11D41163 Helena identifies the True Cross: a human corpse is restored to life when it touches the cross
Secondary
  • 11P3113 archbishop, bishop, etc. (Roman Catholic)
  • 11P31131 insignia of bishop, e.g. mitre, crozier
  • 41B31 candle
  • 41D221(TURBAN) head-gear: turban
  • 11Q713 interior of church
  • 11Q7131(NICHE) parts of church interior: niche
  • 48C161 column, pillar ~ architecture
  • 42E33 sarcophagus
  • 48C24 piece of sculpture, reproduction of a piece of sculpture
  • 48C24(+321) piece of sculpture, reproduction of a piece of sculpture (+ relief ~ sculpture)

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Last update

14.10.2021