Come and visit our new collection website, featuring over 90,000 new object records and 35,000 newly digitised artworks
Twenty Scenes from the Life of Christ

Reference URL

Twenty Scenes from the Life of Christ 15th century

Not on display

These colourful but damaged panels were probably painted as part of a fifteenth-century altarpiece for an unknown monastery in Rhineland, Westphalia. Four scenes are included on each of the five oak panels. The narrative sequence was designed to be read from left to right across the upper scenes on each panel, and then in the same direction across the lower scenes. The panels were acquired, shortly before 1879, by the Scottish painter Sir Joseph Noel Paton, whose research for his own history paintings had fostered his interest in early pictures, in addition to medieval armour.

Glossary Open


An artwork behind a church altar featuring religious scenes or imagery which was usually the focus for the celebration of the Mass.


Relating to the Middle Ages, the period in European history from approximately the 6th to the 15th centuries.

Altarpiece, Medieval


  • Acc. No. NG 2310
  • Medium Oil on panel
  • Size 5 wood panels each: 126.00 x 106.50 cm
  • Credit Presented by the National Museums of Scotland 1936