Saint James the Greater


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 305

Saint James the Greater is shown in his traditional medieval guise of a pilgrim, wearing a soft brim hat emblazoned with a cockleshell emblem and holding a book and a staff (now lost). His shrine at Santiago de Compostela in Spain was the third most popular pilgrimage site after Jerusalem and Rome.

The statue was discovered together with the statue of Saint John the Baptist (exhibited nearby) in a garden-wall niche outside the church of Mouthier-le-Vieillard in Poligny (southeast of Dijon). These sculptures bear the marked influence of an earlier generation of sculptors, principally, Claus Sluter (active 1379–d.1406) and Claux de Werve (active 1396–d.1439), both of whom worked for Duke Philip the Bold.

Saint James the Greater, Limestone with traces of paint, French

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