(b. ca. 1400, Reichenhofen/Allgau, d. 1467, Ulm)

The Birth of Christ

Panel, 148 x 140 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The scenes from the life of the Virgin, depicted on the inner sides of the wings, begin with the birth of Christ. Mary and Joseph worship the child in the stable, while outside in the fields angels announce the birth of the Lord to the shepherds. Full of curiosity, a crowd of men and women look on from behind the wooden fence of the stable. The next scene shows the adoration of the Three Wise Men who had followed the star to offer the child gold, frankincense and myrrh. The third scene, the Feast of Pentecost, shows the Virgin and the Apostles in a chapel-like room. Above them is suspended the dove of the Holy Spirit, which is poured out over the faithful. The final picture is of the death of the Virgin. Christ stands at her deathbed and has taken his mother's soul, in the shape of a tiny girl, into his arms.