Master of the Krainburg Altar

(fl. c. 1510)

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Master of the Virgo Inter Virgines (fl. c. 1483—1498)

Jörg Ratgeb (c. 1480—1526)


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(fl c. 1510). Austrian painter. He is named after two altarpiece wings (c. 1510; Vienna, Belvedere) from Krainburg, near the Karawanken Alps. The wings, painted on both faces, show the flight and martyrdom of the local SS Cantius, Cantianus and Cantianilla on the inner faces and the Agony in the Garden and the Resurrection on the outer faces. The scenes with the saints, under lunettes decorated with sculptures of the prophets painted in gold, are the most striking example of Late Gothic influence from the Netherlands in Austria. The main characters are painted in bright, almost garish colours, now darkened with age; the surrounding landscape is of a clayey hue. As well as having similarities with the style of the Master of the Virgo inter Virgines, the rich damasks and pointed faces are strongly reminiscent of that of the master of the St bartholomew altar. Emotions, from a paralysing certainty of death (in the arrest scene) to sadistic brutality (the executioners), are sympathetically portrayed. The head of a judge (which recalls Hans Baldung's self-portraits) shows the painter on the threshold of the Renaissance, but his still basically Late Gothic perception is poignantly illustrated in the primitive figures in Gethsemane.


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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