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The Virgin’s cloak

The underdrawing of Mary’s cloak is one of the few places on the whole altarpiece where a two-stage underdrawing process can be clearly attested. In the first stage, the draughtsman merely summarily fixed the contours and a few internal details of the cloak with thin lines (see red mapping lines). In the next stage, he continued by adding more details and shading to the folds of the garment, thus fixing also the volume, light and shade of the cloak. The cross-hatching regarded as typical of Lochner’s own hand is not to be seen anywhere here. Instead, we can make out, here and there, a hatching system typical of whoever was responsible for the underdrawing of the outsides of the wings, which consists of a threefold superimposition of short sickle-shaped strokes, each successive stroke crossing the preceding one at an acute angle, thus producing the impression of zigzag hatching.

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