UNKNOWN MASTER, Hungarian
Tempera on wood, 154 x 98 cm
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest
The painting is one of the exterior panels of the high altar of the church in Jánosrét. The altar was created, as was customary, to venerate the patron saint of the church. The carving in the shrine represents the titular saint while on the hinged shutters there are paintings depicting scenes from his life.
The impact of Netherlandish painting is clearly evident in the detailed landscape background - feature unusual in earlier Hungarian panel painting - and also in some of the motifs adopted in Hungary from German art. The motif of the Mary Magdalen embracing the Cross, used by Eyck and Rogier, was transmitted to the Master of Jánosrét through one of the engravings of Master E.S., while the figures of the Virgin and St. John on the left of the Cross and of the Captain on the right, bear witness to the influence and accurate imitation of Schongauer's engraving.