Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Arm Reliquary

Date:
ca. 1230
Geography:
Made in Meuse Valley, South Netherlands
Culture:
South Netherlandish
Medium:
Silver, gilded silver, niello, and gems; wood core
Dimensions:
25 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 4 in. (64.8 x 16.5 x 10.2 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1947
Accession Number:
47.101.33
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14
This container for the precious remains of a saint adopts the form of the relics it likely once held—fragments of a saint’s arm. When the reliquary was set on an altar, the sacred bones could be perceived in the two windows, once covered with crystal, which are cut into the silver. When carried in procession, the imposing image of the saint’s arm raised in blessing could be seen easily by the faithful, even from a distance. The rich combination of materials used for the sleeve of the saint’s vestment typifies goldsmith’s work produced in the Meuse Valley, now a part of modern Belgium, and is related to the style of Brother Hugo of Oignies, a celebrated thirteenth-century artist.
Baron Emmanuel De Decker, Brussels ; [ Raphael Stora, Paris and New York (sold 1937)] ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1937–sold 1947)]
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition," February 17, 1940–March 24, 1940.

Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1940. no. 212, p. 63.

Rorimer, James J. "A Treasury at the Cloisters." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 6, no. 9 (May 1948). p. 243.

Stoddard, Whitney S. Monastery and Cathedral in France: Medieval Architecture, Sculpture, Stained Glass, Manuscripts, the Art of the Church Treasuries. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1966. pp. 364–66, fig. 411.

Hoffmann, Konrad, ed. The Year 1200: A Centennial Exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 1. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1970. no. 107, pp. 101-102.

Gerson, Paula. "Relics and Reliquaries." In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, and Grover A. Zinn. Garland Encyclopedias of the Middle Ages, Vol. 2. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1995. p. 791 [1490].

van Os, Henk. The Way to Heaven: Relic Veneration in the Middle Ages. Baarn, the Netherlands: De Prom, 2000. pp.136-138.

Taburet-Delahaye, Elisabeth. "Le bras-reliquaire de saint Landelin à Crespin." In Actes du Colloque: Autour de Hugo d'Oignies, edited by Robert Didier, and Jacques Toussaint. Namur: Société Archéologique de Namur, 2004. pp. 210–11, ill.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 41, pp. 76, 195.

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. 74.

Gertsman, Elina. Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015. p. 132, fig. 106.

Stein, Wendy A. How to Read Medieval Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. p. 15, fig. 9.



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