Shield for the Field or Tournament (Targe)


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373

This shield is painted with a coat of arms belonging either to the Gottsmann family or to the related Türriegel family, both of Franconia. The female figure at the side holds a banderole inscribed in part with a motto in German: HAB MYCH ALS ICH BIN... (Take me as I am...). The decoration, with its brilliant colors on a silver-foil ground, is remarkably well preserved because it was hidden for centuries beneath layers of later paint. On the leather-lined back of the shield are traces of a painted figure of Saint Christopher, whose image was thought to protect against sudden death.

Shield for the Field or Tournament (Targe), Wood, leather, linen, gesso, pigments, silver, German

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