Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Angels Swinging Censers

Date:
ca. 1170
Geography:
Made in Troyes
Culture:
French
Medium:
Pot-metal glass, vitreous paint, and lead
Dimensions:
18 1/2 x 17 5/16 in. (47 x 44 cm)
Classification:
Glass-Stained
Credit Line:
Gift of Ella Brummer, in memory of her husband, Ernest Brummer, 1977
Accession Number:
1977.346.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
The stained glass produced for the Collegiate Church of Saint-Étienne in Troyes during the late twelfth century represents a major transition from the Romanesque to the Gothic style. None of the panels from what was once an ambitious cycle of scenes—ranging in theme from the public life and Passion of Christ and the Dormition of the Virgin to the life of Saint Nicholas of Myra—remains in its original setting, since the church was destroyed in the wake of the French Revolution. The glass is now scattered in public and private collections in Europe and America. The Museum's panel of censing angels conforms to a window design of connected semicircles, whose overall subject was the Dormition of the Virgin. Here, the pairs of angels, seen moving away from the connected arcs, are painted with an exceptional precision, against a ground decorated with a fine pattern of rinceaux. The organic articulation of the figures and the strikingly balanced colors are analogous to effects found in both manuscript illumination and enamel work. However, it is the chevron-shaped folds of the drapery, which radiate with a metallic precision, that especially invite comparison to a group of contemporary manuscripts produced in Champagne by illuminators originally trained in northern France. Stylistic links with Mosan enamel work also demonstrate that the Troyes artist had assimilated techniques, color relationships, and figure types uncharacteristic of twelfth-century stained-glass painting.
From the Collegiate Church of Saint-Étienne, Troyes; [ André Lion, Paris (sold 1937) (?)]; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (from 1937)]; Ernest and Ella Brummer, New York (until 1977)
Gómez-Moreno, Carmen. Medieval Art from Private Collections: A Special Exhibition at The Cloisters, October 30, 1968 through January 5, 1969. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1968. no. 182.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred and Eighth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1977 through June 30, 1978." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 108 (1978). p. 49.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions, 1975-1979 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1979). p. 23.

Kleinbauer, Walter Eugene. "Recent Major Acquisitions of Medieval Art by American Museums." Gesta 19, no. 1 (1980). p. 76, fig. 28.

Little, Charles T. "Membra Disjecta: More Early Stained Glass from Troyes Cathedral." Gesta 20, no. 1 (1981). p. 122, fig. 5.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, edited by Kathleen Howard. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1983. no. 26, p. 348.

Caviness, Madeline H., ed. Stained Glass Before 1700 in American Collections: New England and New York (Corpus Vitrearum Checklist I). Studies in the History of Art, Vol. 15. Washington, D.C.: National Art Gallery, 1985. p. 94.

Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 65, p. 73.

Burn, Barbara, ed. Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. p. 66.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, edited by Kathleen Howard. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. no. 27, p. 382.

Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 82, pp. 68–69.

Hayward, Jane. English and French Medieval Stained Glass in The Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Volume 1, edited by Mary B. Shepard, and Cynthia Clark. Corpus Vitrearum USA, Vol. 1. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2003. no. 4, pp. 62-67., fig. 4.



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