Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Virgin and Child, Saint Anne, and Saint Emerentia

Made in possibly Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, Germany
Limewood, paint and gilding
Overall: 33 1/4 x 22 5/8 x 11 in. (84.5 x 57.5 x 27.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1916
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 305
The seated group of the Virgin Mary, the Christ Child, and Saint Anne is the core of the Holy Kinship (in German, Anna Selbdritt, referring to three generations of the Holy Family). A favored subject in Germany, the theme was made popular by the widespread devotion to Saint Anne encouraged by lay devotional groups dedicated to her at this time. Such ensembles were often enlarged to include other saints. Here, the additional figure, standing at the back, depicts Saint Emerentia, the name given to the maternal grandmother of the Virgin Mary.

The fragmentary inscription in Gothic letters across the base once identified each of the figures.
Inscription: Inscribed: (on base, in gothic letters): [Emeren] cia/Anna/Maria/Jhesus (according to V. Ostoia).
Georges Hoentschel (French, Paris 1855–1915 Paris); J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York
Osten, Gert von der. Katalog der Bildwerke in der Niedersächsischen Landesgalerie Hannover. Munich: Bruckmann, 1957. pp. 128-29.

Bier, Justus. "Review of Katalog der Bildwerke in der Niedersächischen Landesgalerie Hannover." The Art Bulletin 41, no. 4 (December 1959). p. 344.

von der Osten, Gert. "Niederdeutsche Bildwerke in amerikanischem Besitz." Niederdeutsche Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte 4 (1965). p. 102, fig. 68.

Osten, Gert von der. "The Education of the Virgin: A Masterpiece of German Sculpture." Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin 77, no. 333 (Summer 1981). p. 5.

Bailey, Conny. "Carving a niche? A Reassessment of Early Sixteenth-Century Sculpture Production in Hildesheim." PhD diss., University of Leicester, 2013. pp. 143-59, fig. VII-17-18, 20-2.

Bailey, Conny. "Holz, Stein, Pinsel? Neue Erkenntnisse und Weiterführende Überlegungen zur Hildesheimer Kunst des frühen 16. Jahrhunderts." Hildesheimer Jahrbuch für Stadt und Stift Hildesheim 86/87 (2014-2015). pp. 103-158, 130-133, fig. 4.

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