Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Shield for the Field or Tournament (Targe)

ca. 1450
Wood, leather, linen, gesso, pigments, silver
H. 22 in. (55.88 cm); W. 16 in. (40.64 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Florence Blumenthal, 1925
Accession Number:
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.
Inscription: The female figure holds a banderole inscribed in part with a motto in German: HAB MYCH ALS ICH BIN (Take me as I am).
[J. W. Böhler, Lucerne, by 1923–1925; sold through Bashford Dean to MMA, January 19, 1925].
Dean, Bashford. "Seven Shields of Behaim." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (March 1925), p. 74, fig. 4.

Illustrated London News. "A Unique Discovery from Nuremberg: Fifteenth-Century Shields." Illustrated London News (September 5, 1925), p. 444, ill.

Nickel, Helmut. Ullstein-Waffenbuch: Eine Kulturhistorische Waffenkunde Mit Markenverzeichnis. Berlin: Ullstein, 1974. p. 35, ill.

Angerer, Martin, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Germanisches Nationalmuseum. Nürnberg, 1300–1550: Kunst der Gotik und Renaissance. 1st ed. ed. Munich: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986. pp. 201–3, no. 60a.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Germanisches Nationalmuseum. Gothic and Renaissance Art in Nuremberg, 1300–1550. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 1986. pp. 201–203, no. 60a, ill.

Faltermeier, Christel, and Rudolf Meyer. "Appendix: Notes on the Restoration of the Behaim Shields." Metropolitan Museum Journal 30 pp. 53–60.

Nickel, Helmut. "from Metropolitan Museum Journal." The Seven Shields of Behaim: New Evidence 30 pp. 29–51, ill.

Gotsmann, Reinhard. Die Herren Von Gottsmann Zu Neuhaus, Thurn, Büg Und Brand: Ein Beitrag Zur Geschichte Und Genealogie Des Fränkischen Adelsgeschlechtes Von Gottsmann. Vol. 1. Hamburg: Selbstverlag Reinhard Gotsmann, 2002. pp. 593–96, ill.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Thomas P. Campbell. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 160, ill.

Pyhrr, Stuart W. "Of Arms and Men: Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan, 1912–2012." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer 2012), pp. 24–25, figs. 35–36.

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