southern Germany, 1627(?)
Carved walnut, height 59 cm, width 29 cm
The technical virtuosity of this carving is characteristic of a 'Kunstkammer' object. It is an example of the so called Diirer Renaissance', the stylistic trend in the early Baroque period in which, in contrast to the far more important classical revival, Late Gothic works were drawn upon as artistic prototypes. In this case the source was the Small Crucifixion by Mathias Grunewald (died 1528), copied from an engraving of 1605 by Raphael Sadeler. This is the only known transposition of this composition into relief. The unidentified sculptor carved the monogram FE and the date beneath the feet of St John the Baptist. The coat of arms on the base of the cross is that of the Zurlauben from Lucerne, and the relief is likely to have been commissioned for a member of that family, perhaps Konrad Zurlauben III (1571-1629).