DER KERCKRING-ALTAR VON JACOBUS VAN UTRECHT. LÜBECKER MEISTER VON 1520 AUS DER BREDERLOSCHEN GEMÄLDESAMMLUNG IN RIGA, HEUTE IM ST. ANNEN-MUSEUM DER HANSESTADT LÜBECK ALS STIFTUNG DER FAMILIE VON SENGBUSCH
The article offers an survey of the research about a work of art, which
was first described in 1894 by Wilhelm Neumann, a Riga architect and
art historian, as a family altar in the form of a triptych by a master from
Lübeck from 1520. As a result of the research lasting more than a century,
from 1894 (Neumann) to 2013 (Patrimonium 363), the altarpiece has been attributed to Jacobus van Utrecht (Jacob Claesz van Utrecht) from the Antwerp painting school, an important Dutch artist of the early Renaissance.
The considerations of art history explain to what extent the tryptich
manifests the great change from late medieval painting to the idea of
man in the Renaissance. The article describes the altar with the Madonna
and Christ Child in the main picture, the Apostle John and the Apostle
James the Less on the outer wings and the donor couple, Lübeck Mayor
Hinrich Kerckring and his wife Katharina on the inner wings. The article
provides clues to the possible original location of the altar in Lübeck.
Different theories are proposed for how this work of art may have found its way into an important collection of paintings owned by the Riga councilman, merchant and friend of the arts, Friedrich Wilhelm Brederlo, which was collected in the first half of the 19th century and contained
more than 200 paintings. Furthermore, it is also examines how this work of art arrived in Lübeck in 1942-43 and found its way into the St. Annen-Museum. Today it is exhibited in a separate room along with two other works of art attributed to Jacobus van Utrecht. Looking at a tiny detail – the mountain landscape on the central painting, probably the Drachenfels (Dragon’s Rock) nearby Catholic Cologne – raises the question of whether this work was a recollection of Catholicism during the Reformation that had recently started.