New Website: Underdrawings of the ‘Altarpiece of the City Patron Saints’ in Cologne Cathedral

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IRR Locner's Altarpiece of the City Patron Saints Cologne © Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud

The ‘Altarpiece of the City Patron Saints’ is regarded as the most important work of the famous Cologne painter Stefan Lochner. Recently the conservators at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud in Cologne succeeded, with the help of the infrared reflectography technique, in imaging and analysing many of the fascinating underdrawings of this large-format triptych. The newly opened website www.altar-der-stadtpatrone.de presents the most significant results. The infrared reflectograms of all the aspects of the panels are shown in immediate juxtaposition to the likewise high-resolution colour photographs of the paintings. Using the zoom function, it is possible to obtain detailed views and make comparisons between the pictures as planned at the drawing stage and the finished paintings. Many of the details that can be zoomed in on are accompanied by textual information which sums up, in each case, the numerous results of the investigation which have already been published elsewhere in the form of an article available for consultation as a pdf document, as is a summary of the results.
This information service in German and English provides an optimum foundation for further research into the genesis of one of the largest and most important works of late-medieval Cologne panel painting.