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Sunday at the Met: Preserving the Immaterial


Scenes from the Life of Saint Augustine

Master of Saint Augustine (Netherlandish, ca. 1490)

ca. 1490
Made in Bruges, South Netherlands
South Netherlandish
Oil, oil gilding, and silver stain on oak panel
Overall: 54 1/4 x 59 in. (137.8 x 149.9 cm) gr. thickness: 3/8 in. (1 cm)
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1961
Accession Number:
  • Description

    This painting was the central panel of a triptych dedicated to Saint Augustine. The left wing is lost and right wing is now in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. The composition is divided into five scenes: in the center Saint Augustine is consecrated bishop of Hippo; in the upper left Saint Augustine is ordained; in the lower left Saint Augustine preaches while his mother, Monica, says the rosary; in the upper right Saint Augustine converses with a boy who says that filling a hole in the sand with the sea is no more difficult than explaining the trinity, and in the lower right Saint Augustine preaches. Of particular interest in this panel are the detailed and richly depicted varieties of ecclesiastical vestments and altar implements, many examples of which are in the Treasury.

  • Provenance

    Brownlow Cecil, 9th Earl of Exeter , Burghley House, near Stamford, Northamptonshire (by 1847) ; William Alleyne Cecil, 3rd Marquis of Exeter 1825–1895 , Burghley House, near Stamford Northamptonshire (until 1888) ; Marquis of Exeter sale, Christie, Manson & Woods , London (June 9, 1888, no. 295, to Murray) ; Charles Fairfax Murray British, London 1849–1919 London (in 1888) ; Charles Butler , London (in 1891) ; anonymous sale, Hôtel Drouot , Paris (June 16, 1892) ; Comtesse de Béarn , Paris (after 1895) ; [ Nikolaus Steinmeyer , Cologne (1901)] ; Charles T. Yerkes , New York (1901–10) ; his sale, American Art Association , New York (April 5–8, 1910, no. 18, to Böhler) ; [ Julius Wilhelm Böhler , Munich (in 1910)] ; [possibly Fritz von Ansbach , Frankfurt (in 1910)?] ; Fritz von Gans , Frankfurt (before 1921) ; [ Kurt Walter Bachstitz , The Hague (1921–24)] ; Alfred W. Erickson , New York (1925–d. 1936) ; his widow, Anna E. Erickson , New York (1936–d. 1961) ; her estate sale, Parke-Bernet, New York (November 11–14, 1961, no. 10)

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History