Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Old Testament Figures

Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
18th century
Cloisonné enamel
Overall (a David): H. 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm); W. 3 5/16 in. (8.5 cm); D. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm) Overall (b Moses): H. 5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm); W. 3 5/16 in. (8.5 cm); D. 3 5/16 in. (8.5 cm) Overall (c young Isaiah): H. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm); W. 2 11/16 in. (6.8 cm); D. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm) Overall (d old Isaiah): H. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm); W. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm); D. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edmond J. Safra, 1997
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 219
Clothing and other attributes suggest that these rare figures are Old Testament personages: the tablets held by one, which have inscriptions alluding to the Ten Commandments, imply that he is Moses; the crown and harp of another may identify him as David; and the remaining two are most likely prophets. Flat crossbars with holes on the bases of the figures indicate that they may once have been part of a larger ensemble that was secured onto a platform.
#7369. Four Old Testament Figures
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For Audio Guide tours and information, visit
[ The Chinese Porcelain Company , New York, 1997; sold to Safra] ; Mr.and Mrs. Edmond J. Safra , New York (until 1997; donated to MMA)
London. Victoria and Albert Museum. "Exotic Encounters: the Meeting of Asia and Europe, 1500–1800," September 23, 2004–December 5, 2003.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The "Hundred Antiques"," February 18, 2006–October 31, 2006.

New York. Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture. "Cloisonné: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties," January 25, 2011–April 17, 2011.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Red and Black: Chinese Lacquer, 13th–16th Century," September 7, 2011–June 10, 2012.

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