Martin Caldenbach


Wood, oil. 31 x 21.5 cm

The painting has exceptional artistic and historical value for the study of Kaldenbach's work, which is now represented by a very narrow corpus of works. This is the smallest painting by the master that has reached us. It was intended for solitary home prayer. The composition “Madonna and Child in the Window” has the narrative nature of medieval art and the formal-spatial system inherent in the Renaissance. The Madonna is depicted in an architectural frame - a window, inviting the viewer's gaze to a spiritual and contemplative journey. To the left of the Mother of God is an endless world landscape, and to the right, to demonstrate the artistic skills of spatial solutions, another room with a table and bench is depicted. The architectural frame is covered in gold, echoing the robe of the Mother of God. The graceful decoration of acanthus leaves resembles a crown of thorns, referencing the Passion Cycle. In the upper corners of the window there are angels with symbols of the Passion of Christ: a cross, a spear, a scourging pole, and whips. On the pillow in front of the Mother of God there is a prayer book or book of hours, to which her and the Child’s gaze is directed. Thus, the entire story of the Passion of Christ is included in the meditative image of the Madonna and Child.

Collection of Dr. Simon Meller;
Private collection, Munich, 1927;
Stefan von Auschpitz Collection, Vienna;
Oskar Bondi Collection, Vienna, New York;
Private collection, New York;
Private collection, Germany;
Private collection, Russia.

Northern Renaissance