The centre panel in the opened altar-piece contains a frontal image of the enthroned mother of God with the Christ Child on her lap. Two themes are merged in this paining: firstly the ‘Maestà’, a type of Italian picture of the Madonna showing the enthroned Virgin surrounded by standing and kneeling saints, and secondly the Adoration of the Magi as the main scene featuring the Cologne’s main patron saints. The ‘Maestà’ generally depicted the Madonna surrounded by the patron saints of the city so it is likely that this type of painting influenced the altar-piece of the city’s patron saints, which originally hung in Cologne’s city council chapel. Lochner’s talent for giving form to the subject proves his extraordinary ability to combine representation with narration.
Dr. Rolf Lauer, Kunsthistoriker