German; Made in Rhine valley
Oak, linen covering, paint, gilding, gesso
Open: 14 1/2 x 13 5/8 in. (36.8 x 34.6 cm), Closed: 14 1/2 x 5 in. (36.8 x 12.7 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.185)
This rare devotional shrine is designed to make manifest the miracle of the Incarnation, by which God became man. Closed, it is a statuette of the enthroned Virgin Mary nursing the Christ Child. When opened, the shrine shows a sculptural representation of the Trinity (the figure of Christ and the dove of the Holy Spirit are lost), mystically revealing that salvation is achieved through Christ incarnate. On the wings are painted scenes of the Nativity.