Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Relief from a Pulpit with the Symbol of Saint Luke

Master Christophanus or Stephanus (Italian, active late 12th century) , and his Workshop
ca. 1180
Made in Abruzzo, Central Italy
Limestone with lead
Overall: 45 1/4 x 22 1/16 x 8 1/4in. (115 x 56 x 21cm)
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1984
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 3
This relief depicts an ox, the symbol of Saint Luke, holding a book with an inscription from the opening of his Gospel. A second inscription refers to the master sculptor Stephanus and his associates. Nothing more is known of the sculptor, but the hallmarks of his style, with its crispness and richness of decorative forms contrasting with plain surfaces, are characteristic of sculpture in Abruzzi during the late twelfth century. Because of changes in the liturgy promulgated at the Council of Trent (1544-68), medieval pulpits were frequently dismantled and their parts scattered.
Inscription: [on the lintel]: [ ]IS[ ]R[O]PHANIE[ ]SOCIOR[VM];
[on the book]: FVIT IN DIEBVS [H]ERODIS REGIS (Luke, I:5)
From the church of San Michele Arcangelo at San Vittorino, Abruzzo; [ Robin Symes Limited, London (sold 1984)]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Fourteenth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1983, through June 30, 1984." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 114 (1984). p. 40.

Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Lisbeth. "Romanesque Sculpture in North American Collections. XXIII. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Part III: Italy (2)." Gesta 24, no. 4 (1985). no. 1, pp. 157-58, fig. 1-2.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions, 1984-1985 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1985). pp. 11-12.

Wixom, William D. "Medieval Sculpture at The Cloisters." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 46, no. 3 (Winter 1988-1989). p. 46.

Waldman, Louis. "The Cloisters - L'Aquila Pulpit: An Unknown Signature." Gesta 33, no. 1 (1994). pp. 60-64, fig. 1-4.

Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 90, pp. 75–76.

Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Lisbeth, and Jack Soultanian. Italian Medieval Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010. no. 13, pp. 53–57.

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