Lucretia

Artist: Circle of Conrad Meit of Worms (1480s–1550/51)

Date: 1500–1515

Culture: Flemish

Medium: Boxwood; black wood pedestal

Dimensions: Statuette: H. 8 3/8 x W. 3 x D. 2 1/2 in. (21.3 x 7.6 x 6.4 cm);
Pedestal: H. 2 1/2 x W. 3 1/8 x D. 3 in. (6.4 x 7.9 x 7.6 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Miniature

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.582

Description

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.

[Johanna Hecht, 2007]

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