At first glance the so-called Franconian-Swabian Master (c. 1440/50) would appear to be a representative of an extremely unusual style. A whole array of links, however, have been established between his work and contemporary art production in southeastern Germany. The Frankfurt painting is of the popular late medieval type of Calvary scene with groups of people, referred to in southern Germany as ‘crowded Crucifixion’ paintings. In the case of the Franconian-Swabian Master it would seem that the work of the Master of the ‚Worcester Carrying of the Cross’ – or possibly a Nuremberg verion of the same – influenced him in particular. A second work can also be attributed to the Franconian-Swabian Master. It is a coloured pen-and-ink drawing with wash later pasted into a manuscript from Tegernsee (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich, Clm 18095, fol. 1). Despite the different media, the execution of the painting is so similar to that of the drawing that it would seem as if the artist transferred his working method from the pen-and-ink drawing with wash to the painting on panel. His origins as an artist may well have been in the field of book illustration. Alfred Wolters, the director of the Städtische Galerie Frankfurt from 1928–48 was of the opinion that one crucifixion scene in particular, by Conrad Laib, created for Salzburg and now in the Österreichische Galerie in Vienna, has a close affinity with this work.
Works by Old Masters were only represented in Flechtheim’s galleries in a few individual cases. The panel painting of the Crucifixion was offered to the Städel Museum in 1926 by the art dealers Flechtheim and Kahnweiler in Frankfurt/Main. According to a note in the file on the painting, the work was previously in the possession of the King’s Counsellor, Binswanger, who claimed to have found it under the roof in Augsburg Cathedral. When and how the work came to be in the possession of the Galerie Flechtheim & Kahnweiler is unknown. There is no mention of this work in Flechtheim’s exhibition catalogues.