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Trefoil-top triptych, 3 registers (Closed)

Trefoil-top triptych, 3 registers (Closed)
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Front, open

Religious. Passion. Life of the Virgin.

Repository Institution

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Hillerød, Det Nationalhistoriske Museum

Inv. A 4692

Ivory;metal (hinges and clasp)

Height: 205 mm
Width: 122 mm (closed)

Wing, left
Register 1: the woman accused of adultery (?) kneeling before Christ; Christ holding a book.
Register 2: Trinity; God the Father holding Christ on the cross; Gnadenstuhl (Throne of Mercy); dove of the Holy Spirit issuing from the mouth of God the Father; angels; Virgin Mary and saint John the Evangelist kneeling in prayer.
Register 3: Nativity; swaddled Christ.
Centre panel
Register 1: Christ in Glory; Christ displaying his wounds; cross rising behind Christ; wreath (crown of thorns?) around the cross; angels holding instruments of the Passion (nails; spear); kneeling figures possibly including the Virgin Mary and saint John the Baptist; saint Michael holding a sword and souls including that of a king and of a bishop (crown and mitre) evoke the Last Judgement.
Register 2: Crucifixion with thieves; swooning Virgin supported by one of the Holy Women; saint John the Evangelist and onlooker holding a sword; angel carrying the soul of the good thief; demon carrying the soul of the bad thief; angels holding the sun and the moon (?). 
Register 3: Death of the Virgin (Dormition); Christ holding the soul of the Virgin; apostles holding censers, situla, candlesticks and a cross.
Wing, right
Register 1: Agony in the Garden (Christ at Gethsemane); apostles asleep; God the Father making a blessing gesture.
Register 2: Resurrection; two soldiers in armour asleep; shield; banner.
Register 3: Adoration of the Magi with Virgin seated to the left; crowned Virgin; Christ standing on the Virgin's right knee.

Museum's opinion 2014: Rhineland, 14th century.


Two hinges on either side.

Polychromy - Gilding
Traces of gilding and polychromy: gold (hair, beards), green (crown of thorns).

Flat and smooth with engraved 16th-century inscription running across the back of the wings: 'HER ERIK OTSEN ROSENKRANDS FRV SOPHI HE[NRIKS] D[ATTER] GYLDENSTIERN'.
Engraved coats of arms: Rosenkrantz, with the lion rampants and Gyldenstjerne with the star.
Engraved inscriptions (later?): 'C' 'V' 'G' 'E' 'M'.

Very unusual iconography and style, especially the cross rising behind Christ in glory. Very interesting.

Belonged after 1451-1456 to Erik Ottesen Rosenkrantz (b. c. 1427, d. 1503) and his wife Sofie Henriksdatter (Gyldenstjerne), whom he married ca. 1451 (at the latest in 1456) (see inscriptions and their coats of arms on the back of the wings). Acquired by the museum in 1931-1932.


© Det Nationalhistoriske Museum, Hillerød.

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