Monday, May 02, 2005

More from the Marburg

While looking for something else last week, I happened to trip over another nice rosary painting.

I was actually hoping to find a color version online somewhere of the St. George altarpiece by Friedrich Herlin (late 1400s) since it has a nice picture of a lady with one of the less common types of rosary, one using wooden or bone disks as counters rather than round beads.

German nun

I searched on Herlin in the Marburg Foto Index (for more about this source, see, and found that yes indeed there's a photo of that altarpiece.... but only one, and it's not the one I wanted. Here's St. George (being martyred, I presume):

... but we don't get to see the kneeling donors of the painting on the left and right wings, just this center panel.

However the search turned up three more paintings by Herlin, so I took a look at them, and lo and behold, here's another donor with a rosary:

Unicorn Donor fm1554559a

This is a detail of the "Mother of God with St. Barbara and Founders", painted around 1467:


This tells me something useful. I had always thought the ladies in the St. George altarpiece were nuns: at least in a black and white photo, they certainly look like they are dressed that way. However this lady is dressed exactly the same, and she can't be a nun, because she has children.

Just another of the little random bits of information out there waiting for someone to discover them....

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