UNKNOWN MASTER, German
(active 1560-1590 in Hamburg and Lower Saxony)

Christ Blessing, Surrounded by a Donor Family (central panel)

1573-82
Oil and gold on oak panel, 78 x 96 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

In this triptych a family of seven gathers closely around the central figure of Christ as Salvator Mundi. The table in the centre is strewn with cut flowers.

Through the biblical verses inscribed overhead, the family engages in a dialogue with Christ on salvation and afterlife. On the central tablet affixed to the green canopy appear Jesus's words "Because I live, ye shall live also" (John 14:19). The four eldest family members respond with invocatory verses from the Book of Psalms on plaques hung from hooks on the rear wall.

The city depicted in Christ's orb is Hamburg, shown in a topographically accurate view from the east.




© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.