Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bust of the Virgin

ca. 1390–95
Made in Prague, Bohemia
Terracotta with paint
12 13/16 x 8 13/16 x 5 7/16 in. (32.5 x 22.4 x 13.8 cm)
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 2005
Accession Number:
Not on view
With regal elegance and a tender face, this image of the Virgin constituted the upper portion of a standing or enthroned figure, which would have been accompanied by the child Jesus. Artists working in clay would normally divide a large sculpture horizontally with a wire before firing to ensure that it would dry evenly. The sections would then be reassembled with mortar disguised under the paint.

This is the only terracotta sculpture attributed to medieval Prague.
Private Collection, Regensburg(in 1960s) ; [German Dealer] ; [German Dealer] ; [ Brimo de Laroussilhe, Paris (with Florian Eitle & Anthony Blumka (2005)]
Prague, Czech Republic. Picture Gallery, Prague Castle. "Karel IV., císař boží milosti: kultura a umění za vlády posledních lucemburků 1347-1437," February 16, 2006–May 21, 2006.

Fajt, Jiri, and Barbara Drake Boehm, ed. Karel IV., Císař Boží Milosti: Kultura a Umění za Vlády Posledních Lucemburků 1347–1437 (Charles IV, Emperor by the Grace of God: Culture and Art in the Reign of the Last of the Luxembourgs 1347–1437). Prague: Prague Castle Administration, 2006. no. 11.16, p. 89.

Fajt, Jiri, and Barbara Drake Boehm, ed. Karl IV., Kaiser von Gottes Gnaden: Kunst und Repräsentation des Hauses Luxemburg 1310-1437. Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2006. no. 181, pp. 519–20.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 2005-2006." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 64, no. 2 (Fall 2006). p. 26.

Barnet, Peter. "Recent Acquisitions (1999-2008) of Medieval Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters, New York: Supplement." The Burlington Magazine 150, no. 1268 (November 2008). p. 800, fig. XXI.

Evans, Helen C., ed. The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions – Online Catalogue. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008.

Barnet, Peter. "Medieval Europe." In Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1977–2008, edited by James R. Houghton. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009. p. 24.

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. 118.

Stein, Wendy A. How to Read Medieval Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. no. 24, pp. 15, 94–95.

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