This altarpiece is one of the earliest of its kind to survive in Germany. Mary, the other women and John are standing below the cross in the centre, and next to them are the Roman captain and staring people. Personifi cations of Ecclesia and Synagogue appear on galleries at the sides of the cross. In the left-hand panel Christ is being presented to the High Priest Caiaphas, who addresses him with the banderole “How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” The right-hand panel shows Mary and her companions at the tomb. An angel is sitting on the sarcopha gus, pointing to the empty tomb and proclaiming Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The ornamental strips in relief and sunken pictorialfields imitate gold work. Hard, crystalline ridged folds are juxtaposed with rounded drapery. These are characteristic of a stylistic development known as the “Zackenstil” (jagged, serrated style).


  • Title: Altarpiece with crucifixion from Soest
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: around 1240
  • Physical Dimensions: w195.5 x h86.0 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Medium: Oak wood
  • Style: Westphalian
  • Copyright Text: Text: © http://www.prestel.com, Prestel Verlag / Rainald Grosshans // Photo: © http://www.bpk-images.de, b p k - Photo Agency / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist Gender: male

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