Cologne was one of the most prosperous cities in 15th-century Germany. Its numerous churches were filled with paintings produced by its large population of painters. Some of these came from other towns to work in Cologne: Stephan Lochner, whose name is associated with a charming and technically accomplished style, was originally from southern Germany. The witty painter, the Master
of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece, a native of the northern Netherlands, produced a number of works for the Carthusian monastery in Cologne.
East of Cologne in Westphalia, the painter identified only as the Master of Liesborn established a large workshop in the latter part of the 15th century, supplying altarpieces to the numerous ecclesiastical foundations near Münster, many of which were being reformed. They included the Benedictine Abbey of Liesborn. The Master of Liesborn began a large winged altarpiece for the high altar, but it was completed by another painter, Jan Baegart.