The Empress Kneels Before Saint Martin, Silk and metal thread, and linen, South Netherlandish

The Empress Kneels Before Saint Martin

ca. 1430
South Netherlandish
Silk and metal thread, and linen
Diameter: 6 1/8in. (15.5cm)
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1947
Accession Number:
Not on view
This roundel originally formed part of an extensive series illustrating the life of St. Martin which decorated an altar frontal or a set of liturgical vestments. The silk and metallic threads produce a variety of textures and a sense of depth that animate the surface and the narrative. In the first scene St. Martin, on his way home to convert his parents, is assaulted by brigands-an encounter which resulted in the conversion of the attackers. In the other the wife of the emperor Maximian kneels before St. Martin.

Please note that this textile object is exhibited on a rotating basis due to conservation requirements.
[ Antonio Salvadori, Florence or Venice ? (sold 1929)] ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1929–sold 1947) ]
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition," February 17, 1940–March 24, 1940.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Grand Gallery: An International Exhibition under the auspices of C.I. N.O.A.," October 19, 1974–January 5, 1975.

Hartford, CT. Wadsworth Atheneum. "The Splendor of French Style: Textiles from Joan of Arc to Napoleon III," March 9, 1986–May 25, 1986.

Farcy, Louis de. La broderie du XIe siècle jusqu'à nos jours d'après des spécimens authentiques et les anciens inventaires. Vol. supplement. Angers: Belhomme, 1890. no. 236, p. 165, fig. 236.

Weinberger, Martin. "Sammlung Schloß Rohoncz / Plastik und Kunstgewerbe." Der Cicerone : Halbmonatsschrift für Künstler, Kunstfreunde und Sammler 22 (1930). p. 50, 379.

Dodgson, Campbell. "Unknown Netherlandish artist (ca. 1440)." Old Master Drawings: a Quarterly Magazine for Students and Collectors 9 (1934–1935). pp. 32–33, fig. 33–34.

Dodgson, Campbell. "Supplementary note..." Old Master Drawings: a Quarterly Magazine for Students and Collectors 11 (1936–1937).

Ross, Marvin C. "A Magnificent Display of Old Vestments." ARTnews vol. 34 (1936). p. 14, ill.

Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1940. no. 113, p. 39.

Freeman, Margaret B. "The Legend of Saint Catherine Told in Embroidery." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 13, no. 10 (June 1955). p. 293.

Rorimer, James J. The Cloisters: The Building and the Collection of Medieval Art in Fort Tryon Park. 3rd revised ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1963. p. 153.

Eisler, Colin. "Two early Franco-Flemish Embroideries -- Suggestions for Their Settings." The Burlington Magazine 109, no. 775 (October 1967). pp. 571-580.

Freeman, Margaret B. The St. Martin Embroideries: a Fifteenth-Century Series Illustrating the Life and Legend of St. Martin of Tours. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1968. p. 19, 31, 44, ill. p. 19, 31, 44.

Wilckens, Leonie von. Die textilen Künste: von der Spätantike bis um 1500. Munich: C. H. Beck, 1991. p. 257, fig. 290.