Conrad Meit (German, 1480s–1550/51)
Boxwood; H. 8 3/8 in. (21.3 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.582)
As court sculptor to Margaret of Austria in Mechelen, Meit was a major proponent of Renaissance style, noted for his fusion of German realism and Italian idealism. His depictions of sensuous female nudes were much emulated. Lucretia, a beautiful and virtuous noblewoman of ancient Rome, committed suicide after being raped by the king's son, which set off the rebellion that established the Roman Republic. Her legend also inspired paintings by Meit's contemporaries Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach.