Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Engaged molding on a polyptych panel

ca. 1435–40
Poplar. Carved, gilt: deep red bole.
Overall, 144 x 69 cm; sight, 136.2 x 62.3 cm; engaged.
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 956
Only the lancet top, which itself has suffered damage, survives of the engaged frame on this "Madonna and Child Enthroned with Two Cherubim" that John Pope-Hennessy has attributed to the Osservanza Master. Nevertheless, the narrow chamfered molding, with its arch echoing the perspective of the picture, lends an architectural strength to the enthroned Virgin and Child, and the remaining crockets still suggest stylized palm fronds arching over their heads. As the center panel of a large polyptych, the "Madonna and Child" would not originally have had engaged moldings along its sides, but would have been separated visually from its lateral panels by applied, perhaps spiral, colonettes. The lancet top was probably itself engaged to an extension of the main panel forming a triangular gable above it.
F. Mason Perkins, Lastra a Signa; Rita Lydig, New York; Lydig sale, American Art Association, New York, 4 April 1913, lot 126; Morton Meinhard, New York; Mrs. Morton Meinhard, New York; Meinhard sale, Parke- Bernet, New York, 4-5 May 1951, lot 313. Acquired by Robert Lehman in 1951.
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