Shield for the Field or Tournament (Targe)

15th century
Wood, canvas, leather, gesso, silver, polychromy, iron
19 x 16 3/4 in. (48.3 x 42.5 cm); Wt. 3 lb. 12 oz. (1704 g)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Florence Blumenthal, 1925
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373
Although damaged from use and age, this shield is one of the most beautifully painted examples of the fifteenth century. On the preserved surface shows a woman wearing a feathered turban and holding a scroll inscribed in German “fahr mit Freuden” (go with joy). A heraldic shield to the right formerly displayed an owner’s coat of arms, which is now illegible. The surrounding areas are delicately painted with foliate scrolls and “cloud bands” in opaque colors and translucent glazes on a polished silver-leaf ground.
Inscription: Inscribed in German, “fahr mit Freuden” (go with joy).
[J. W. Böhler, Lucerne, by 1923–1925; sold through Bashford Dean to MMA, 1925]
Munich. Doerner Institut. "Behaim shield conservation," June 1, 2005–December 1, 2006.

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. 60b.

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. 201–3, no. 60b.