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Wolf Huber's 'Christ taking Leave of his Mother'

Rachel Billinge, Lorne Campbell, Jill Dunkerton, Susan Foister, Jo Kirby, Jennie Pilc, Ashok Roy, Marika Spring and Raymond White
Technical Bulletin Volume 18, 1997


This panel fragment, Christ taking Leave of his Mother, has been compared with a panel by Albrecht Altdorfer in the same collection, since few panels attributed to Huber have survived. The panel now consists of five planks with a paste of heat-bodied linseed oil and red lead in the knots and a thin priming of red lead, lead white, and calcium carbonate, which left a grainy surface for painting. Removal of old inserts to the panel left numerous damages, but made it possible to realign the planks to give a coherent composition after experimentation with digital images of details such as hands.

Pine inserts were used to replace missing slivers of wood. Lake fading, dulling of azurite, abrasion of glazes, browning of 'copper resinate' type glazes, and both darkening and medium absorption by the warm orange ground have contributed to surface colour changes. Underdrawing and paint application are discussed and compared with other works by the artist. The dating of this panel is considered.


discoloration, panel paintings, pigment, Wolfgang Huber

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'Wolf Huber's "Christ taking Leave of his Mother"'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 18, pp 98–112.

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