Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Paschal Candlestick

Date:
ca. 1450–1500
Geography:
Made in Castile-Léon, Spain
Culture:
Spanish
Medium:
Wood with paint and gilding
Dimensions:
Overall: 77 x 17 1/4 in. (195.6 x 43.8 cm)
Classification:
Woodwork-Furniture
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1944
Accession Number:
44.63.1a, b
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 16
Paschal candlesticks figure prominently in the liturgy of the Easter vigil as part of the celebration of the Resurrection. In a practice that dates to the early church, the congregation gathers around the candlestick while the deacon inserts grains of incense into five holes in the wax of the candle arranged in a cruciform pattern. The ceremony, known as Lumen Christi, concludes with the lighting of the paschal candle, which is raised above the congregants—in the case of this example, more than six feet above them. The decoration of the hexagonal candlestick is organized in three tiers. The upper register is devoted to the Old Testament: Adam and Eve, the Expulsion of Adam and Eve (depicted on two faces), and the prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zachariah. The second register depicts Saint Benedict and five Franciscan saints: Francis, Bernardino, Anthony of Padua, Louis of Toulouse, and Clare. Six of the apostles appear at the bottom: Saints Bartholomew, Thomas, Barnabas, John, Philip, and Matthias.
Inscription: Inscribed (on scrolls) with the names of the prophets, saints, and apostles
[ P. W. French & Co., New York (in 1915] ; Clarence H. Mackay, Roslyn, NY and His Estate ; [ P. W. French & Co., New York (sold 1944)]
Baetjer, Katharine. European Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by artists born in or before 1865: A summary catalogue. Vol. 1. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1980. p. 176.

Baetjer, Katharine. European Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by artists born in or before 1865: A summary catalogue. Vol. 2. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1980. p. 197.

Baetjer, Katharine. European Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by artists born in or before 1895: A summary catalogue. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. p. 151, ill. p. 150.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 92, pp. 130, 198.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 137.



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