Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Sculpture of an Enthroned King

ca. 1230–35
Made in Lombardy or Veneto, Italy
North Italian
Overall: 39 1/2 x 23 1/4 x 26 in. (100.3 x 59.1 x 66 cm)
weight: 626lb. (284kg)
Credit Line:
Mrs. Stephen V. Harkness Fund, 1922
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
Portraying a historical king, such as Solomon, or an allegorical image of the monarch as “the living law” (lex animata), this imposing sculpture must have originated from an important northern Italian civic monument. It is a rare surviving example of the image of a ruler from a civic setting, such as a court of justice or a city gate, and is stylistically related to the work of the influential northern Italian sculptor Benedetto Antelami (act. ca. 1175–1215). It also shows an understanding of French models, especially with respect to the facial features and the thin drapery folds of the mantle.
#3005. Enthroned King
For Audio Guide tours and information, visit
Count Castelbarco, Vaprio d'Adda; Famiglia Massimini, Vaprio d'Adda and Milan (by 1908–19); Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi, Rome (until 1921); [ Lucien J. Demotte, Paris (sold 1922)]
Mannheim, Germany. Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen. "Die Staufer und Italien: Drei Innovationsregionen im Mittelalterlichen Europa," September 19, 2010–February 20, 2011.

Tencajoli, Oreste F. "Ville e palazzi italiani: La villa Castelbarco Albani in Vaprio d'Adda (Monasterolo)." Ars et Labor: Musica e musicisti 63 (February 1908). p. 125.

Joseph Breck. "An Early Gothic Statue of a Seated King." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 17, no. 4 (April 1922). pp. 73-76.

Zuliani, Fulvio. "Il ruolo della scultura nella Venezia medievale." In I tesori della fede: Oreficeria e scultura nella Venezia medievale, edited by Adriana Augusti. Venice: Marsilio, 2000. p. 23.

Little, Charles T. "Kingship and Justice: Reflections on an Italian Gothic Sculpture." Arte medievale 4, no. 1 (2005). pp. 91-108, ill. nos. 1-4, 11.

Wixom, William D. "Medieval Sculpture at the Metropolitan: 800 to 1400." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 62, no. 4 (2005). p. 23.

Geymonat, Ludovico V. "Un Erode veneziano al Metropolitan." In Per Giovanni Romano: Scritti di amici, edited by Giovanni Agosti. Savigliano: L'Artistica Editrice, 2009. pp. 90-91.

Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Lisbeth, and Jack Soultanian. Italian Medieval Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010. no. 27, pp. 120–125.

Little, Charles T. "Die Rezeption der Antike in der italienischen Skulptur der Gotik: Ausgewählte Werke im Metropolitan Museum of Art." In Verwandlungen des Stauferreichs: Drei Innovationsregionen im mittelalterlichen Europa, edited by Bernd Schneidmüller, Stefan Weinfurter, and Alfred Wieczorek. Stuttgart: Konrad Theiss Verlag, 2010. pp. 336-39, pl. XIV.

Wieczorek, Alfred, Stefan Weinfurter, and Bernd Schneidmüller. Die Staufer und Italien: Drei Innovationsregionen im Mittelalterlichen Europa. Mannheim: Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, 2010. no. IV.B.1.5, pp. 134-136.

Maxwell, Robert A. "Le goût pour la sculpture romane de Parthenay: Les collectionneurs américains et la redécouverte de l'art du XIIe siècle." In L'âge roman: Arts et culture en Poitou et dans les pays charentais, Xe-XIIe, edited by Pascale Brudy, and Anne Benéteau Péan. Montreuil: Gourcuff Gradenigo, 2011. p. 272.

Geymonat, Ludovico V. "Il primo bagno di Gesù a Traù e Venezia." Hortus Artium Medievalium 20, no. 2 (2014). p. 854.

Maxwell, Robert A. "Accounting for Taste: American Collectors and Twelfth-Century French Sculpture." Journal of the History of Collections 27, no. 3 (November 2015). p. 396.

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