Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Priest Aaron

ca. 1170
Made in Noyon, Picardy (Oise)
Overall: 50 x 16 1/2 x 13 1/2 in. (127 x 41.9 x 34.3 cm)
Credit Line:
The Bequest of Michael Dreicer, 1921
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
This sculpture of Aaron and the opposite figure of Moses form part of a rare ensemble of key figures from the Hebrew Bible. They symbolically prefigure the redemption offered through the sacrificial death of Christ, and with other statues originally flanked an enthroned Virgin and Child that still survives in the Gothic cathedral at Noyon. The sculptures are distinguished by garments of weighty fabric arranged in swelling volumes stretched around the body. Here, the Levite priest Aaron covers his head with a veil and holds a scroll. After their removal from the cathedral in the wake of the French Revolution, the sculptures were affected by different environmental conditions.
From the Cathedral of Noyon, Picardy; Michael Dreicer, New York(until 1922)
Breck, Joseph. "The Michael Dreicer Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 17, no. 5 (May 1922). p. 106, ill. p. 108.

"List of Accessions and Loans." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 17, no. 5 (May 1922).

"La collection Michael Dreicer au Musée métropolitain de New-York." Revue archéologique 15 (January-June 1922). p. 342.

Roosval, Johnny. Romansk konst. Bonniers Allmänna Konsthistoria. Stockholm: Bonniers, 1930. p. 148, fig. 121.

Rorimer, James J. Ultra-Violet Rays and their Use in the Examination of Works of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931. p. 26, fig. 17.

Rorimer, James J., and William Holmes Forsyth. "The Medieval Galleries." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 12, no. 6 (February 1954). p. 132.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Guide to the Collections: Medieval Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1962. fig. 40.

Hayward, Jane, and Walter Cahn. Radiance and Reflection: Medieval Art from the Raymond Pitcairn Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1982. pp. 116-17.

Williamson, Paul. Medieval Sculpture and Works of Art: The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. London: Philip Wilson Publishers, 1987. pp. 36-38, fig. 5-7.

Little, Charles T. "Resurrexit: A Rediscovered Monumental Sculpture Program from Noyon Cathedral." In The Cloisters: Studies in Honor of the Fiftieth Anniversary, edited by Elizabeth C. Parker, and Mary B. Shepard. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. pp. 234-59, fig. 4, 5, 6.

Little, Charles T. "Searching for the Provenances of Medieval Stone Sculpture: Possibilities and Limitations." Gesta 33, no. 1 (1994). pp. 32-36, fig. 14, ill. p. 35, fig. 14.

Sandron, Dany. "Premiers résultats d'une programme franco-américaine d'analyses pétrographiques." Bulletin Monumental 153, no. 2 (1995). p. 196.

Williamson, Paul. Gothic Sculpture 1140-1300. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995. p. 28, 123, 128.

Wixom, William D. "Medieval Sculpture at the Metropolitan: 800 to 1400." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 62, no. 4 (2005). p. 19.

Daussy, Stéphanie Diane. "L'aménagement liturgique du chevet de la cathédrale de Noyon." Viator 42 (2011). p. 171.

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