The large-scale picture in the centre of the parament represents the so-called Notgottes, the depiction of the broken body of Christ. This does not correspond to any particular episode in the Passion of Christ; it is a timeless but still very realistically crafted devotional image in which God the Father displays the body of his sacrificed son. The symbolic presence of the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, expands the motif to make this, in effect, a depiction of the Trinity. Through the portrayal of Christ as the Man of Sorrows - that is, with all the stigmata of his suffering - this specific manner of representing the Trinity is directly related to the Sacrament of the Altar: according to Christian belief, the expiatory sacrifice of the mass is a bloodless repetition of Christ's divine act of redemption on the cross. The image belongs to the genre of devotional pictures and is thus concerned with forging the greatest possible emotional bond between viewer and picture. The Notgottes is an image of paternal compassion and the devoted love of God, one that strives to elicit from the viewer reverent sympathy for the Son of God, who suffered for the sins of mankind. The design of the middle picture is attributed to the so-called Master of Flémalle. This painter - sometimes doubtfully identified with the Flemish master Robert Campin (1375-1444) - was, along with the brothers van Eyck, among the pioneers of early Netherlandish realism.
Parament; Altarbehang; Textil
Textil, Starker Leinengrund; an den Gewändern das Rahmenwerk aus rotem Samt und Goldborten; Gold-, Perlen, Samt- und Seidenstickerei (Nadelmalerei, Lasurtechnik) (Textil)
L. 330 cm, B. 119 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer
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