Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Panel with Hunting Scenes

ca. 1350
Made in Paris, France
Overall: 4 5/16 x 12 1/8 x 3/16 in. (11 x 30.8 x 0.5 cm) W: 29.0-30.8 cm; Depth: .2-.5 cm
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 2003
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14
The stag hunt, one of the principal secular themes of the Middle Ages, is here eloquently portrayed in ivory. The action begins at the left with hounds and hunters on horseback departing the castle. In a wooded setting women lure falcons, while the hunter has shot an arrow at the stag as hounds torment it; finally, as the stag seeks relief from the waters of a fountain, the hunter delivers the coup de grace with his sword. In medieval poetry such courtly themes were also regarded allegorically as the hunt for love.

The panel originally formed the back of an exceptionally large casket (now lost). The casket is known from an eighteenth- century engraving that shows the conclusion of the hunt, with the stag's head being presented to courtly figures. As key examples of secular ivory carving in Paris during the time of Charles V (1338-1380), the images are rendered with crisp, graphic carving that creates rich surface and spatial effects commensurate with the finest luxury works of the city.

Joining the celebrated secular ivories from the Morgan collection, this panel and three others illustrated here enable the Museum to offer an unparalled glimpse of the secular spirit of the high Middle Ages.
Claude de Boze Collection(until 1753) ; Graf Franz Wilhelm von Oettingen-Balderen, Cologne (until 1798) ; Graf Ludwig zu Oettingen-Wallerstein(until 1870) ; Princes of Oettingen-Wallerstein(by descent, until 2003)
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