Master of the Biberach Holy Kinship (German, active 16th century)
Made in Swabia, Germany
Limewood with traces of paint
Overall: 28 1/2 x 10 1/4 x 7 3/8 in. (72.4 x 26 x 18.7 cm)
at base: 9 x 5 3/4 in. (22.9 x 14.6 cm)
The Cloisters Collection, 1960
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 20
This sensitively carved group represents Saint Roch lifting his robe, while a small angel, his wings now missing, applies ointment to the boil on the saint’s leg. The drawn and weary face of the saint elicits empathetic anguish from the angel. The sculptor paid considerable attention to the anatomy of forms, notably in the rendering of the underlying bone structure of the face and hands and the careful articulation of the veins. Both figures are slightly rotated, which is emphasized by the long diagonal fold across the torso of Saint Roch that animates the group with implied motion.
[ John J. Klejman, New York (until 1960)]
Kargère, Lucretia Goddard, and Michele D. Marincola. "Conservation in Context: The Examination and Treatment of Medieval Polychrome Wood Sculpture in the United States." Metropolitan Museum Studies in Art, Science, and Technology 2 (2014). p.16.
Guillot de Suduiraut, Sophie. Dévotion et séduction: Sculptures souabes des musées de France, vers 1460-1530. Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2015. pp. 311, 313.