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Master of the Aachen Altarpiece, Lamentation (Front of Panel)

Key facts
Full title Lamentation (Front of Panel), Two kneeling Donors (Reverse of Panel)
Artist Master of the Aachen Altarpiece
Artist dates active late 15th to early 16th century
Group The Crucifixion Altarpiece
Date made about 1490-5
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 106.8 × 54 cm
Acquisition credit On loan from National Museums Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery
Inventory number L918.2
Location Room 62
Art route(s) A
Image copyright On loan from National Museums Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, © Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool
Collection Main Collection
Lamentation (Front of Panel)
Master of the Aachen Altarpiece

This is the right-hand panel of a triptych painted for the church of St Columba, Cologne.


The front of the right hand panel shows the ‘Lamentation of Christ’, The mourning, or lamentation, over the dead Christ is generally represented as taking place immediately after his body was brought down from the Cross.


This altarpiece was commissioned around 1490 by the highly prosperous merchant family of Hermann Rinck, Mayor of Cologne, who died in 1496. He and his wife, Gertrud von Dallem, are shown praying in the reverse of the panel. The three young men on the right looking through a screen may be the donors’ sons.

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The Crucifixion Altarpiece


This altarpiece was commissioned by the family of Hermann Rinck, who was burgomaster (or mayor) of Cologne three times in the 1480s, after his death in around 1496. It stood on the altar of their family chapel in the church of Saint Columba in the city.

The altarpiece is in the form of a triptych (a painting made up of three panels). Its two side panels – or shutters – are in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. The altarpiece was dismantled and the panels separated some time between 1810 and 1820. The central panel, which is in the National Gallery’s collection, shows Christ’s crucifixion. The shutters show the episodes leading up to the Crucifixion and those that followed it.

When the altarpiece was cleaned in 1963, overpaint on the reverse of the shutters was removed, revealing paintings of Rinck and his wife with three of their sons.