Crucifixion, Mass of St Gregory Triptych, around 1500-1505

Master of the Aachen Altarpiece, working as an artist around 1480-1520

Accession number - 1225, 1226 (wings)
Size - 109.1x54.2cms; 106.8x54cms
The central panel is on loan from the National Gallery, London (No 1049)
107.3 x 120.3 cms
Oil and tempera on panel

The family of the deceased Burgermeister (Mayor) of Cologne, Hermann Rinck, commissioned this triptych around 1505. It was painted by a leading local artist, whose identity is unknown, for the altar of their family chapel in St Kolumba's Parish Church, Cologne. Rinck, his wife and three of their sons are seen on the back of the wings. They are praying in front of the miraculous sixth-century mass when Christ appeared to St Gregory.

The busy front panels show nine episodes in the Passion of Christ centred around the Crucifixion. The triptych shows the distinctive, agitated and expressive figures for which the anonymous artist is known. The centre panel now belongs to the National Gallery, London, and the wings to the Walker Art Gallery. They were separated sometime between 1810 and 1820.

To discover more about this fascinating and complex work, click on the links below:

Researched and written by Claire Longrigg and Robert Knifton, students on the Art Gallery and Museum Studies MA course at Manchester University.