The Visitation

Attributed to Master Heinrich of Constance German

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304

Soon after the Virgin Mary learned of her miraculous conception of Jesus, she visited her relative Elizabeth, who was also expecting a child, John the Baptist. This representation of their joyous meeting comes from the Dominican convent of Katharinenthal, in the Lake Constance region of present-day Switzerland. Carved of walnut, with the original paint and gilding almost completely preserved, the figures of Mary and Elizabeth are each inset with crystal-covered cavities through which images of their infants may originally have been seen. The representation of the Visitation, incorporating images of the unborn Jesus and John the Baptist, is found with some frequency in contemporary works from German-speaking lands. Mary tenderly places her hand on Elizabeth’s shoulder, while her cousin raises her arm to her breast in reference to her declaration, “Who am I, that the mother of the Lord should visit me?” (Luke 1:43).

#83. The Visitation, ca. 1310-20, Part 1



  1. 83. The Visitation, ca. 1310-20, Part 1
  2. 83. The Visitation, ca. 1310-20, Part 2
  3. 83. The Visitation, ca. 1310-20, Part 3
The Visitation, Attributed to Master Heinrich of Constance (German, active in Constance, ca. 1300), Walnut, paint, gilding, rock-crystal cabochons inset in gilt-silver mounts, German

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