Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Infantry Shield (Pavise)

ca. 1450
possibly Chomutov
Bohemian, possibly Chomutov (now Czech Republic)
Wood, leather, gesso, silver foil, polychromy
H. 42 1/2 in. (107.95 cm); W. 20 1/2 in. (52.07 cm); H. of curvature 5 in. (12.7 cm); D. approximately 1 in. (2.54 cm); Wt. 16 lb. 11 oz. (7569 g)
Credit Line:
Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, 1929
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373
Shields of this type were carried by crossbowmen and other foot soldiers in central Europe during the fifteenth century. They were often fitted with a prop to enable them to be freestanding. This example is painted in the center with a crown surmounted by three ostrich feathers, a badge of the kings of Bohemia. Below this is the letter Y on a radiant cloud, possibly the monogram for Yhesus (Jesus). At the top is the coat of arms of the Saxon city of Zwickau (a red shield with three white swans), which was added to the shield at a later date.
Related Objects

Shield (Pavise)

Date: ca. 1475–1500 Medium: Wood, leather, gesso, polychromy Accession: 25.26.3 On view in:Gallery 373

Tournament or Cavalry Shield (Targe)

Date: ca. 1450 Medium: Wood, leather, linen, gesso, pigments, silver Accession: 25.26.1 On view in:Gallery 373

Horseman's Shield (Targe)

Date: early 15th century Medium: Wood, leather, gesso, silver, paint Accession: 30.101 On view in:Gallery 370

Shield (Pavise)

Date: ca. 1450–75 Medium: Wood, leather, gesso, silver foil, polychromy Accession: 29.158.596 On view in:Gallery 373

Shield (Pavise)

Date: 1450–1500 Medium: Wood, leather, gesso, polychromy Accession: 29.158.591 On view in:Gallery 373