Altar Angel (one of a pair)

Date: ca. 1275–1300

Geography: Made in Artois, France

Culture: French

Medium: Oak with traces of paint

Dimensions: 29 1/2 in. × 7 in. × 7 11/16 in. (75 × 17.8 × 19.5 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Wood

Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1952

Accession Number: 52.33.1


This figure, along with its pair (acc. no. 52.33.2) probably once held either candlesticks or instruments of the Passion. Deriving in style from the smiling angels on the west facade of Reims Cathedral, such works were placed around an altar. They stood on top of small columns that supported rods on which curtains were hung. The angels were originally painted in rich colors and gold. Their upward trailing wings are now lost.