Support Figure of a Seated Cleric or Friar


Not on view

The pose of this statuette of a cleric of friar, echoing ancient figures of Atlas, and the indentation cast into its back tell us that it was originally intended as a support for a larger object. Like the carved pair of altar angels in The Cloister's collection (acc. nos. 52.33.1, .2), the style of this cast figure derives ultimately from the seminal sculpture of thirteenth-century Reims Cathedral—in this case from the console figures on the west facade and nave exterior. No thirteenth-century shrine survives intact with support figures like this one, but there are examples from the later Middle Ages. Furthermore, a number of the scenes depicted in the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux (acc. no. 54.1.2) are set in architectural frameworks supported by similar bent figures.

Support Figure of a Seated Cleric or Friar, Copper alloy with mercury gilding, French

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