The Crucifixion

Artist: Master of the Berswordt Altar (German, Westphalian, active ca. 1400–35)

Date: ca. 1400

Medium: Oil, egg(?), and gold on plywood, transferred from wood

Dimensions: 23 1/2 x 17 in. (59.7 x 43.2 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1943

Accession Number: 43.161


These panels were among thirty scenes of an extensive narrative cycle that formed part of a large altarpiece from the Neustädter Marienkirche in Bielefeld, Westphalia. They were created two decades before panel painting underwent a qualitative revolution in the art of Jan van Eyck, Robert Campin and Rogier van der Weyden, who achieved a new sense of realism in their works. The artist, one of the foremost painters of the International Gothic style in northwest Germany, still adhered to the traditional gilded background, although the inclusion of a horizon and some schematic natural motifs indicate an outdoor setting for both scenes.