Marriage Panel of Gabriel Weydacher and his wife Juliana Wemis with the Virgin and Child and Saints Barbara and Catherine
After a design by Leonhard Beck German
Not on view
This heraldic panel memorializes the marriage of Gabriel Weydacher and Juliana Wemis. In 1514 Weydacher became record keeper of the vast Schwaz (Tirol, Austria) silver mines, which were financed by the Fugger family of Augsburg and were the source of great wealth for the Emperor Maximilian I. Like many other Schwaz families, whose wealth and social status derived from the silver mines, Weydacher commemorated his union by donating this armorial panel to the glazed cloister of the local Franciscan monastery, where it was installed in the window in the northeast corner. Directly opposite the window was a large wall painting commissioned by Weydacher who appears as donor supporting a shield with his arms. A Franciscan context is further indicated by the central image of the Virgin and Child on a crescent moon in an aureole surrounded by a glory of angels amidst clouds signifying Santa Maria degli Angeli, the parish church outside of Assisi and the birth place of the Franciscan Order. The glazing of the cloister was removed at an early date and although other analogous panels are recorded this appears to be the only one to survive. The design is attributed to Augsburg artist Leonhard Beck. The artist who executed the figures employed only a point of brush, light wash and a fine pointed stylus defining forms and volumes with remarkable economy and linear finesse. The palette of glass dominated by cerulean blue, deep red and golden hues of silver stain brings vibrant radiance to the panel while the composition skillfully balances the heraldic shields, the holy personages and the architecture that frames them. Of the highest quality and of great rarity, this panel, which is essentially secular but comes from a monastic context, constitutes a significant and appropriate addition to The Cloisters collection.