Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Entombment of Christ

ca. 1390–1405
Made in Paris, France
Opaque and translucent enamel on gold
Overall: 3 7/16 x 3 1/16 x 3/16 in. (8.7 x 7.7 x 0.5 cm)
Enamels-Ronde Bosse
Credit Line:
The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 537
The entombment of Christ after the Crucifixion is variously described in the Four Gospels. Each of the accounts notes the presence of a wealthy man at the scene, Joseph of Arimathea; with him, according to Matthew and Mark, were Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James. However, only the Gospel of Saint John refers to Nicodemus, a Pharisee, as being in attendance. None of the Gospels describes the crowd of mourners gathered at the bier, as seen here, but the depiction of such a group is typical in French art of the Gothic period.

About 1400, the technique of enameling en ronde-bosse, which was used for this plaque, became a hallmark of goldsmiths' work for the French royal court. Jewel-like in its effect, it combines luminous color-as well as, here, the mottled gray of the sarcophagus and the floral patterning on the Virgin's gown-with finely detailed goldwork, as seen in the precisely detailed physiognomies and the scroll pattern stippled on the gold ground.
David Black & Sons ; Rosenberg & Stiebel ; Jack and Belle Linsky, New York (until 1982)
Gómez-Moreno, Carmen. Medieval Art from Private Collections: A Special Exhibition at The Cloisters, October 30, 1968 through January 5, 1969. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1968. no. 172.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions, 1983-1984 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1984). p. 16.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Fourteenth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1983, through June 30, 1984." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 114 (1984). p. 40.

The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art . New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1984. no. 52, p. 135.

Parker, Elizabeth C. "Recent Major Acquisitions of Medieval Art by American Museums." Gesta 24, no. 4 (1985). p. 174, fig. 24.

Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 203, p. 167.

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