Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Virgin and Child on a Crescent Moon

ca. 1480
Made in Nuremberg
Limewood with paint
Overall: 75 1/2 x 27 1/4 x 17in. (191.8 x 69.2 x 43.2cm)
Overall: 102lb. (46266.9g)
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1984
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 20
Carved in high relief, this sculpture was undoubtedly the focal group in the central shrine of a large winged altarpiece of a type that flourished in southern Germany and Austria in the late Gothic period. The image of the Virgin on a crescent moon reflects the vision of Saint John (Apocalypse 12:1): “a woman clothed in the sun, and the moon was under her feet.” The orb held by Christ signifies his role as spiritual ruler of the world, while the grapes in his mother’s hand symbolize the wine of the Mass.
Said to have come from Brixen; Dr. Karl Kruger (until 1943) ; Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum ; Dr. Peter Hierzenberger (until 1984) ; [ Sotheby's, London British (April 3, 1984, lot 14)]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Fourteenth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1983, through June 30, 1984." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 114 (1984). p. 40.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions, 1984-1985 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1985). p. 14.

Parker, Elizabeth C. "Recent Major Acquisitions of Medieval Art by American Museums." Gesta 24, no. 4 (1985). p. 172, fig. 14.

Wixom, William D. "Medieval Sculpture at The Cloisters." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 46, no. 3 (Winter 1988-1989). p. 22.

Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 227, pp. 185–86.

Wixom, William D. "Riemenschneider in America." In Tilman Riemenschneider: Master Sculptor of the Late Middle Ages, edited by Julien Chapuis. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1999. p. 158, fig. 12.

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