UNKNOWN MASTER, Flemish
(active c 1400)
Tempera on wood, 33 x 21 cm
Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore
Four panels (two painted on both sides)of a small quadriptych are today divided between the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp and the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore. The altarpiece, when reassembled, juxtaposes to panels of the Infancy with two of the Passion (Annunciation, Nativity, Crucifixion and Resurrection), and, on the exterior, two panels related to Baptism and water (Baptism of Christ and St Christopher).
An unusual detail is found in the otherwise simplified scene of the Crucifixion. The long torso of Christ hangs listlessly on the cross between the tall figures of Mary and John the Evangelist, but his head is turned upward to the right and from his lips there issues a banderole inscribed "Eloy, eloy lama sabatini" (My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me). This poignant motif is directly derived from the Revelationes of the Swedish mystic, St. Bridget.