This recently discovered double-sided panel represents an important addition to the small corpus of works attributed to Ludwig Schongauer. Furthermore Ludwig Meyer has identified it as one of three surviving panels from a small domestic altar that Schongauer probably painted while in Ulm, between 1479-86.
Ludwig Schongauer was the younger brother of Martin Schongauer (c. 1435-1491), and both were important figures in the assimilation of Netherlandish art into 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. Four are in Leipzig in the Museum für bildende Künste (inv. nos. NI 46-9) and eight more are in Kupferstichkabinett, Dresden (inv. nos. C 1-20). 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 1).
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 to 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.
We are very grateful to Mr. Ludwig Meyer for the attribution, given on the basis of photographs, and for his help in cataloguing this lot.