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Medieval Treasures from Hildesheim

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Virgin and Child on a Crescent Moon

Date:
ca. 1480
Geography:
Made in Nuremberg
Culture:
German
Medium:
Limewood with paint
Dimensions:
Overall: 75 1/2 x 27 1/4 x 17in. (191.8 x 69.2 x 43.2cm) Overall: 102lb. (46266.9g)
Classification:
Sculpture-Wood
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.198
  • Description

    Carved in high-relief this sculpture was undoubtedly the focal group in the central shrine of a large winged altarpiece of a type that flourish in Southern Germany and Austria in the late Gothic period. The image of the Virgin on a crescent moon reflects the vision of Saint John ( Book of Revelation 12:1): "a woman clothed in the sun, and the moon was under her feet." The orb held by Christ signifies his role as spiritual ruler of the world while the grapes in his mother's hand symbolize the Passion. The monumentality of the figure, the dramatic angular and deeply-cut drapery folds of the mantle that envelopes her, and smooth rounded facial features reveal the influence of the Swabian sculptor Hans Multscher (active Ulm 1427-before 1467), while anticipating the style of the next generation of carvers in the South Tirol, particularly Hans Klocker (active Brixen 1491-Bozen 1495/1500).

  • Provenance

    Said to have come from Brixen; Dr. Karl Kruger (until 1943) ; Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum ; Dr. Peter Hierzenberger (until 1984) ; [ Sotheby's, London (April 3, 1984, lot 14)]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
469883

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