The simple patterning of the drapery lends elegance to this figure of the Virgin, while her slightly slumped shoulders, forward tilt, and placid gaze might suggest both fatigue and acceptance of her new role as the mother of Jesus. Traces of the medieval painted decoration are preserved. The Virgin’s proper right eye, made of blue glass, is original. The other eye is a recent replacement. This is one of only a few Romanesque sculptures in wood from Burgundy to survive. The patterning of the drapery and the heavy-lidded eyes relate this piece to the sculptures of the cathedral of Saint-Lazare at Autun, such as the Angel (47.101.16) exhibited in this gallery.
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Title:Enthroned Virgin and Child
Geography:Made in vicinity of Autun, Burgundy, France
Medium:Birch with paint and glass
Dimensions:40 1/2 in. × 13 in. × 11 1/4 in. (102.9 cm, 28.5 cm)
Credit Line:The Cloisters Collection, 1947
Abbé Victor Terret, Autun (by 1925) ; [ Jean Peslier, Vézelay (sold 1935)] ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1935–1947)]
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition," February 17–March 24, 1940.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Grand Gallery," October 19, 1974–January 5, 1975.
Terret, Abbé Victor. La sculpture bourguignonne aux XIIe et XIIIe siècles, ses origines et ses sources d'inspiration: Autun. Vol. 2. Autun: Abbé Victor Terret, 1925. p. 63, Frontispiece v. 2.
Hamann, Richard. "Die Salzwedeler Madonna." Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft 3 (1927). p. 104, Plate XLIV.
Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1940. no. 168, p. 53.
Freeman, Margaret B. "A Romanesque Virgin from Autun." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 8, no. 4 (December 1949). pp. 112–16.
Rorimer, James J. The Cloisters: The Building and the Collection of Mediaeval Art in Fort Tryon Park, New York. 11th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1951. pp. 26–28, fig. 12.
Grivot, Denis, and George Zarnecki. Gislebertus, sculpteur d'Autun. Paris: Trianon Press, 1960. pp. 159–60.
Zarnecki, George, and Denis Grivot. Gislebertus: Sculptor of Autun. New York: Orion Press, 1961. p. 176, pl. D15.
Quarré, Pierre. "La Vierge en majesté d'Autun aux Cloisters de New York." Actes du Congrès de l'Association Bourguignonne des Sociétés Savantes (1963). pp. 60–61.
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. pp. 54–56.
Dobrzeniecki, Tadeusz. "Romański Posążek Marii z Dzieciątkiem w Muzeum Narodowym w Warszawie." Rocznik Muzeum Narodowego w Warszawie 10 (1966).
Salet, Francis. "La Vierge d'Autun au Musée des Cloîtres." Bulletin Monumental 124 (1966). pp. 60–61.
Stoddard, Whitney S. Monastery and Cathedral in France: Medieval Architecture, Sculpture, Stained Glass, Manuscripts, the Art of the Church Treasuries. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1966. p. 273, fig. 333.
Deuchler, Florens. "The Cloisters: Ein Museum für mittelalterliche Kunst in New York." Du 32, no. 2 (1972). p. 102.
Forsyth, Ilene H. The Throne of Wisdom: Wood Sculptures of the Madonna in Romanesque France. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972. no. 87, pp. 16, 18, 145, 188–89, fig. 152–53.
Sauerländer, Willibald. "Zu dem romanischen Kruzifix von Moissac." In Intuition und Kunstwissenschaft: Festschrift für Hanns Swarzenski zum 70. Geburtstag am 30. August 1972, edited by Peter Bloch. Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 1973. p. 304.
Forsyth, William Holmes, and The International Confederation of Dealers in Works of Art. "Acquisitions from the Brummer Gallery." In The Grand Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Sixth International Exhibition presented by C.I.N.O.A.. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1974. p. 4.
Young, Bonnie. A Walk Through The Cloisters. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979. p. 37.
Verdier, Philippe. "A Romanesque Corpus." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 68, no. 3 (1981). pp. 72–73, fig. 16.
Howard, Kathleen, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1983. no. 2, p. 360.
Little, Charles T. "Romanesque Sculpture in North American Collections. XXVI. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Part VI: Auvergne, Burgundy, Central France, Meuse Valley, Germany." Gesta 26, no. 2 (1987). no. 6, pp. 158–59, fig. 6.
Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 49, p. 58.
Young, Bonnie. A Walk Through The Cloisters. 5th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1988. pp. 34–39.
Alexander, Jonathan. "Iconography and Ideology: Uncovering Social Meanings in Western Medieval Christian Art." Studies in Iconography 15 (1993). pp. 12–14, fig. 5.
Howard, Kathleen, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. no. 2, p. 394.
Sapori, Giovanna, and Bruno Toscano. La Deposizione lignea in Europa: L'immagine, il culto, la forma. Catalogo Regionale dei Beni Culturali dell'Umbria. Studi e prospettive. Milan: Electa, 2004. p. 460.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 9, pp. 34, 193.
Kargère, Lucretia Goddard, and Adriana Rizzo. "Twelfth-Century French Polychrome Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Materials and Techniques." Metropolitan Museum Studies in Art, Science, and Technology 1 (2010). pp. 39–65, fig. 1, 7–9, 20–21.
Le Pogam, Pierre-Yves. "La place du tympan du Jugement dernier d'Autun dans l'histoire de l'art: Du rejet a l'éclat retrouvé." In Révélation: Le grand portail d'Autun, edited by Cécile Ullmann. Lyon: Editions Lieux Dits, 2011. p. 12, fig. 4.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 32.
Kargère, Lucretia Goddard. "La sculpture romane polychrome sur bois en Auvergne et Bourgogne: étude technique de quatre sculptures du Metropolitan Museum de New York." Les Cahiers de Saint-Michel de Cuxa XLIII (2012). pp. 111–121, fig. 1, 10.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012. p. 200.
Kargère, Lucretia Goddard. "L’expérience américaine. À propos de quelques Vierges romanes." Technè 39 (2014). pp. 13, 16–17, 19–21, fig. 1,5.
Kargère, Lucretia Goddard, and Michele D. Marincola. "Conservation in Context: The Examination and Treatment of Medieval Polychrome Wood Sculpture in the United States." Metropolitan Museum Studies in Art, Science, and Technology 2 (2014). p. 18.
Stein, Wendy A. How to Read Medieval Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. pp. 13–14, fig. 7.
Bolton, Andrew, ed. Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Vol. 2. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2018. pp. 258, 264.
Although theatrical plays had been presented at the original Cloisters museum at 699 Fort Washington Avenue until its closing in February 1936, it was not until the performance of The Miracle of Theophilus at The Cloisters' current home in January 1942 that a medieval drama was produced for the first time. Envisioned and organized by the curatorial staff, with a text translated from the original French into English by Curator James Rorimer—later director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art—and costumes designed by Associate Curator Margaret Freeman, the thirteenth-century play was enjoyed by a group of Museum members on the Feast of the Epiphany. Thus began a tradition of medieval theatrical performances at The Cloisters.
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