MASTER Bertram
(b. ca. 1345, Minden, d. 1415, Hamburg)

St Peter (Grabow) Altarpiece: Creation of the Animals

Tempera on wood, 80 x 57 cm
Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Master Bertram knew exactly how to employ the relatively limited space of the individual altar panels in order to populate the biblical story with a maximum of incident. He was less concerned with a realistic portrayal of the objects than with the manner of their presentation. In the Creation of the Animals, fish rise from the waters and float upwards. Above them, a swan, a rooster, a peacock, and a goldfinch are arranged in ascending order.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 12 minutes):
Joseph Haydn: The Creation, introduction and aria