An outstanding example of Gothic goldsmiths' work and enameling, this small devotional diptych achieves a gemlike quality through its accomplished technique and graceful style. The outer scenes of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection are executed in translucent enamel with details in opaque enamel, while the inner scenes of the Annunciation and the Nativity are in the form of cast reliefs. The diptych generally has been attributed to either a Parisian or a Cologne workshop, but a more precise localization is made difficult not only by the mobility of artists and the resultant transmission of styles, but also by the palpable stylistic differences between the outer and inner wings. In addition, the unusual inclusion of a midwife in the Nativity scene is an iconographic peculiarity that appears for the most part to have been of Austrian origin. While the place in which this diptych originated remains somewhat uncertain, the essential stylistic qualities of the work link it with Cologne.
John Edward Taylor, London (until 1912) ; [his sale, Christie's, London (July 1-4, 1912, no. 235)] ; [ Jacques Seligmann, Paris and New York (in 1912)] ; [ Ruth and Leopold Blumka, New York (until 1980)]
Catalogue of the renowned collection of works of art, chiefly of the mediaeval and Renaissance times, Greek and Roman antiquities, French 18th century furniture and old Chinese porcelain, formed by the late John Edward Taylor. London: Christie, Manson & Woods, July 1–9, 1912. no. 235, p. 67, ill.
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Eleventh Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1980, through June 30, 1981." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 111 (1981). p. 42.
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State Hermitage Museum. Dekorativno-Prikladnoe Iskusstvo ot Pozdnei Antichnosti do Pozdnei Gotiki. St. Petersburg: State Hermitage Museum, 1990. no. 51, pp. 108-109.
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Boehm, Barbara Drake, Abigail Quandt, and William D. Wixom. Das Stundenbuch der Jeanne d'Evreux / The Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux / Le Livre d'Heures de Jeanne d'Evreux: Commentary. Lucerne: Faksimile Verlage Luzern, 2000. p. 233, fig. 38-39.
Russakoff, Anna D. "Collaborative Illumination: Jean Pucelle and the Visual Program of Gautier de Coinci's 'Les Miracles de Nostre Dame'." In Jean Pucelle: Innovation and Collaboration in Manuscript Painting, edited by Kyunghee Pyun, and Anna D. Russakoff. London: Harvey Miller Publishers, 2013. p. 85.
Artist: Workshop of the Master of the Virgin Mary's Reliquary Casket (German, Aachen) Date: early 13th centuryMedium: Champlevé and cloisonné enamel, copper-giltAccession: 69.238.3On view in:Gallery 14