Panel (one of a pair)


Not on view

Carved with a trophy of religious attributes, the subtly curved surface of this panel and its pair ( suggest their original placement in the corners of a room in an ecclesiastical setting. Suspended from a tasseled ribbon, fastened with a knot near the top of the panel, the upper part of this trophy includes flaming candles, two angel heads emerging from billowing clouds and a monstrance or vessel used to carry the Eucharistic host in processions and certain devotional ceremonies. A roundel in a rocaille frame with a bearded male portrait seen in profile is carved slightly above the center of the panel above a flying baby angel, clouds and a palm branch. A thurible suspended from chains used for burning and carrying incense during religious services embellishes the lower part of the panel. The surrounding wheatears and grape vines symbolize the bread and wine of the Eucharist, the Christian ceremony commemorating the Last Supper, while the wreath of roses alludes to the crown of thorns of Christ’s Passion.

This panel and its pair were part the model collection of woodwork, paneling and seat furniture of Maison Leys, a successful decorating business, located at the Place de la Madeleine in Paris. Since 1885 the business was directed by Georges Hoentschel who installed the collection in 1903 in a museum-like display at Boulevard Flandrin, Paris. Three years later, Hoentschel sold the collection to J. Pierpont Morgan who gave the panels with the rest of the decorator’s seventeenth and eighteenth century objects to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1907.

Panel (one of a pair), Carved oak, French

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