Circle of Claus de Werve (Netherlandish, active in France, ca. 1380–1439, active Burgundy, 1396–ca. 1439)
Made in Poligny, Burgundy, France
Limestone with traces of paint
Overall: 47 1/4 x 25 1/2 x 12 in. (120 x 64.8 x 30.5 cm)
Mrs. Stephen V. Harkness Fund, 1922
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 305
According to medieval artistic conventions, Saint Paul is traditionally identified by his bald head and long beard, a sword, the instrument of his martyrdom, and a book, representing his writings. While working within a specified tradition, this Burgundian sculptor invested his carved Saint Paul with exceptional vitality and intelligence. Paul’s left knee pushes against the fabric of his robe, suggesting a relaxed, but attentive posture. His inclined head and furrowed brow project a sense of resolute determination and quiet solemnity. These qualities were especially important for a statue that presided over a private chapel, where the saint served as a heavenly advocate for the de Plaine family.
From the de Plaine family chapel in the monastic Church of the Jacobins (Dominicans), Poligny, Jura; Claude Antoine Dubois and heirs, Poligny; François Vuillermet, Poligny (until 1918-19); [ Georges J. Demotte (1877–1923), Paris and New York (1918-1922)]
Müller, Theodor. Sculpture in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Spain. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1966. p. 50, pl. 56B.
Forsyth, William Holmes. "Three Fifteenth-Century Sculptures from Poligny." Metropolitan Museum Journal 22 (1987). pp. 71-91, fig. 1-6, 8.
Cleveland Museum of Art and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. L'art à la cour de Bourgogne: le mécénat de Philippe le Hardi et de Jean sans Peur (1364-1419), edited by Stephen Fliegel, and Sophie Jugie. Paris: Éditions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2004. pp. 270-272, fig. 2.
Cleveland Museum of Art and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. Art from the Court of Burgundy: The Patronage of Philip the Bold and John the Fearless 1364-1419, edited by Stephen Fliegel, and Sophie Jugie. Cleveland: Éditions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2004. pp. 270-272, fig. 2.
Wixom, William D. "Late Medieval Sculpture in the Metropolitan: 1400 to 1530." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 64, no. 4 (Spring 2007). p. 18.
Witt, Sabine. Die Skulpturen der Sluter-Nachfolge in Poligny: Stiftungen und Hofkunst in der Freigrafschaft Burgund unter den Herzögen aus dem Hause Valois. Korb: Didymos-Verlag, 2009. pp. 59-65, fig. 19, 20, 21, 22.
Artist: Attributed to Claus de Werve (Netherlandish, active in France, ca. 1380–1439, active Burgundy, 1396–ca. 1439)Date: ca. 1415–17Medium: Limestone with paint and gildingAccession: 33.23On view in:Gallery 305