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Lamentation with Donors

Lamentation with Donors


The Virgin lamenting over the dead Christ is flanked by adoring angels on clouds above and by worshiping donors below. The donor on the left and his wife on the right (missing her head) in contemporary fifteenth-century costume kneel to recite a prayer. The Latin text is inscribed in very low relief in elegant Gothic letters on speech scrolls rising from their joined hands. Since the inclusion of lay donors is rare in larger ensembles of alabaster panels, this relief probably functioned as an independent image of private devotion, rather than as part of an altarpiece.
Unknown (English)
Lamentation with Donors
ca. 1440-1450
Alabaster with polychromy and gold
17 x 9 7/8 x 2 1/2 in. Overall
Max W. Zabel Fund purchase
Accession No.


before 1969, in the collection of "old Austrian noble family" according to Blumka Gallery (New York, NY). 1969, Leopold Blumka Gallery (New York, NY) sells to Elvehjem Art Center [now called the Chazen Museum of Art] (Madison, WI)

  • Holcomb, Melanie, Maria Saffiotti Dale, and Catherine Janis. "A Guide to Medieval Art in Midwestern Campus Collections," in Christina Nielsen, ed., "To Inspire and Instruct: A History of Medieval Art in Midwestern Museums." Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. p. 189
  • Cheetham, Frances. "Alabaster Images of Medieval England." Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2003. pp. 94, 207, no. 79
  • Elvehjem Art Center. "Bulletin 1970-1971." Madison: Elvehjem Art Center, 1971. pp. 30, 53, no. 22
  • Elvehjem Museum of Art. "Handbook of the Collection." Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Madison, 1990. no. 16
  • Elvehjem Museum of Art. "Handbook of the Collection of the Elvehjem Art Center." Madison, WI: Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1974. n.p.

  • Images of the Cathedral: Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, 2/15/1988–4/10/1988
  • Printworld: The History and Development of Printing and Printmaking: Madison Art Center, 8/18/1982–9/19/1982

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