Reuniting winged altar-pieces that have suffered the fate of separation is a very rare occurrence. The Korbinian altar of the St. Korbinian pilgrimage church in Assling, East Tyrol, is an altar work that has recently been reunited. It is being shown in public for the first time in Belvedere’s palace stables. The workshops of two masters who rank among the leading artistic personalities at the tail end of the Middle-Ages were involved in this work in the period around 1480. Friedrich Pacher and his workshop created the painted elements, while the sculpture of Saint Korbinian in the altar shrine is attributed to the wood-carver Hans Klocker, who worked in Brixen.
The wings of this altar were separated from the shrine about 150 years ago. They were considered lost until rediscovered by the Munich art historian, Ulrich Söding. Separated into four individual paintings, the tablets were owned by the Dutch art dealer, Jacques Goudstikker, whose collection was subjected to a compulsory sale and partly entered Hermann Göring’s collection in Carinhall. After the war, they were returned to the Dutch government, and in 2006 handed over to Goudstikker’s heirs. In 2007 the Tyrol State Memorial Foundation finally acquired the tablets at Christie’s in London.
The significant acquisition by the state of Tyrol gave rise to comprehensive examination and restoration of the entire altar in the studios of the federal monument office.
In the future, the altar ensemble is to be displayed in St. Korbinian again. Belvedere is showing the entire altar, which has been recently restored, as part of the exhibition series Endangered - Preserved - Presented in co-operation with the federal monument office.
An academic publication in tandem with the exhibition gives an insight into the work in its historical and art historical context, and provides detailed information about the current restoration.