Basle, ca. 1480
Limewood, originally painted
This Madonna with the crescent moon at her feet is attributed to the Guntersumer family workshop, which produced the lost high altar of the Predigerkirche (Dominican church) in Basle in 1504. Before it was bought for the Museum, it stood on the altar of the church in Warmbach near Rheinfelden together with the accompanying figures of Sts Odilia and Barbara. The Christchild the Madonna once held is missing and unfortunately the colour has been stripped off. Jos and Dominicus Guntersumer, father and son, represent, together with Heinrich Isenhut, the most important of the 13 Late Gothic workshops active in Basle between 1450 and the beginning of the C16. With her characteristic motif of drapery lifted up above her right knee as if caught by a gust of wind, this Madonna is considered to be an early work of the Guntersumers; she has a close resemblance to the Madonna from Hellikon which is also in the Museum.