About this artwork
Once thought to be by the young Albrecht Altdorfer, this painting is instead the work of a painter named after a winged altarpiece in the town of Pulkau, near the Austrian and Moravian border. Though the artist takes his name from the Pulkau altarpiece, he was probably active in Vienna. Like other loosely associated South German and Austrian artists of the early 16th century, who are now grouped together as the Danube School, the Master of Pulkau used exuberant natural forms to give a heightened emotional quality to his work. In this altarpiece wing, the swirling vegetation, excited angels, and oversized Virgin and animals direct the viewer’s attention to the vulnerable Christ Child, who is the focus of adoration.
- Master of the Historia Friderici et Maximiliani
- The Nativity
- Oil on panel
- 44 5/8 × 29 3/16 in. (111.4 × 74.1 cm) Painted surface: 43 5/8 × 28 5/16 in. (110.8 × 73.5 cm)
- Wilson L. Mead Fund