This double-sided panel represents an important addition to the small corpus of works attributed to Ludwig Schongauer. Since its acquisition in December 2003, when it was newly discovered, the present panel has been identified by Ludwig Meyer as one of the three surviving panels from a small domestic altar that Schongauer probably painted while in Ulm, between 1479 and 1486.
Ludwig Schongauer was the younger brother of Martin Schongauer (c. 1435-1491), and both were important figures in the assimilation of Netherlandish art in Germany during the later 16th Century. Martin's engravings, in particular, became extremely popular throughout Europe and he was an early influence on Albrecht Dürer, among others.
The present panel probably formed the upper right wing of a small altarpiece that consisted of four panels in total, each painted on both sides with scenes from the Passion. These compositions ultimately derive from Martin Schongauer's famous engravings (Lehrs 19-30/Bartsch 9-20), but are not straightforward copies: Ludwig used his brother's compositions as a starting point, from which he probably produced a number of drawings. The paintings forming the altarpiece derive from those drawings (The Entombment, for example relates closely to the drawing of the same subject in Dresden, inv. no. C 1911/20).
Of the three surviving panels from the altarpiece one is in the Metropolitan Museum of art, New York (Linsky Collection) depicting Christ before Pilate (outer face) and The Resurrection (inner face), and one was formerly in the Convent of the Margraves of Baden-Baden, Salem, and sold at Sotheby's, Baden-Baden, 10 October 1995, lot 2278, depicting The Flagellation (outer face) and The Way of Calvary (inner face). The discovery of the present panel adds The Taking of Christ (outer face) and The Entombment (inner face) to the series, leaving one panel untraced.