Parts of a mysterious altarpiece reunited for Compton Verney exhibtion - The Leamington Observer

Parts of a mysterious altarpiece reunited for Compton Verney exhibtion

A MYSTERIOUS altarpiece will be seen in all its glory for the first time in over 30 years at Compton Verney.

Around the year 1515, at the height of the German Renaissance, an altarpiece was created in the region of Franconia, now part of modern Bavaria.

Somehow it made its way to a church in the UK where it remained whole until 1993, when it was broken up and sold. The wings of the altarpiece came to Compton Verney and the central panel went to the National Gallery of Scotland.

Now for the first time in more than 30 years, The Lamentation of Christ with a Group of Donors, along with depictions of St Christopher carrying the Infant Christ and Saint George and the Dragon will be reunited at the south Warwickshire art gallery.

As part of a joint project between the National Galleries of Scotland and Compton Verney, the works by an artist known only as a ‘Franconian Master’ have inspired a new body of technical analysis and academic research, which will accompany the display.

Reunited: The Lamentation Altarpiece will not only provide visitors with a rare opportunity to admire the altarpiece as a whole, but also offer further insights as to who the unknown painter could have been.

Compton Verney curator Jane Simpkiss said: “The altarpiece is a rather mysterious object, and many things are still not known. For example, the style of the female saints is different from that of their male counterparts, so there is a suggestion that they are by a different artist, or perhaps even from a different altarpiece.

“So many things remain unconfirmed and unknown about the painting, so this show is a great chance for the public to see how art history is undertaken and the various theories we need to consider and contend with.”

Reunited: The Lamentation Altarpiece runs at Compton Verney from March 19 through to January.

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