Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Shield for the Field or Tournament (Targe)

Date:
ca. 1450
Culture:
German
Medium:
Wood, leather, linen, gesso, pigments, silver
Dimensions:
H. 22 in. (55.88 cm); W. 16 in. (40.64 cm)
Classification:
Shields
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Florence Blumenthal, 1925
Accession Number:
25.26.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373
This shield is painted with a coat of arms belonging either to the Gottsmann family or to the related Türriegel family, both of Franconia. The female figure at the side holds a banderole inscribed in part with a motto in German: HAB MYCH ALS ICH BIN... (Take me as I am...). The decoration, with its brilliant colors on a silver-foil ground, is remarkably well preserved because it was hidden for centuries beneath layers of later paint. On the leather-lined back of the shield are traces of a painted figure of Saint Christopher, whose image was thought to protect against sudden death.
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