Circle of the Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet (German, active ca. 1470–90)
Made in Middle Rhine, Germany
Colorless glass, silver stain, and vitreous paint
Overall: 13 7/8 x 9 5/8in. (35.2 x 24.4cm)
The Cloisters Collection, 1982
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 13
The imagery depicted on this panel derives from the Book of Revelation, which describes "a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (12:1). The Virgin standing on a crescent moon, surrounded by rays of light, is a specific iconographic type, of German origin, which became popular by the middle of the fifteenth century. Encircled by the rays of perfect light, the Virgin, Queen of Heaven, outshines the transitory and evanescent nature of all other realms, just as the sun dissipates the light of the moon.
The softness and delicacy of the figures, as well as the unmannered, free use of line, place this panel in the immediate circle of the Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet, arguably the greatest graphic artist active in northern Europe before Albrecht Dürer.
[Sibyll Kummer-Rothenhäusler, Galerie für Glasmalerei, Zurich (sold 1982)]
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