This container for the precious remains of a saint adopts the form of the relics it likely once held—fragments of a saint’s arm. When the reliquary was set on an altar, the sacred bones could be perceived in the two windows, once covered with crystal, which are cut into the silver. When carried in procession, the imposing image of the saint’s arm raised in blessing could be seen easily by the faithful, even from a distance. The rich combination of materials used for the sleeve of the saint’s vestment typifies goldsmith’s work produced in the Meuse Valley, now a part of modern Belgium, and is related to the style of Brother Hugo of Oignies, a celebrated thirteenth-century artist.
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Geography:Made in Meuse Valley, South Netherlands
Medium:Silver, gilded silver, niello, and gems; wood core
Dimensions:25 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 4 in. (64.8 x 16.5 x 10.2 cm)
Credit Line:The Cloisters Collection, 1947
Baron Emmanuel De Decker, Brussels ; [ Raphael Stora, Paris and New York (sold 1937)] ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1937–sold 1947)]
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition," February 17–March 24, 1940.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Year 1200: A Centennial Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 12–May 10, 1970.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Grand Gallery," October 19, 1974–January 5, 1975.
Die Nieuwe Kerk. "The Way to Heaven: Relic Veneration in the Middle Ages," December 16, 2000–April 22, 2001.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Eternal Ancestors: The Art of the Central African Reliquary," October 1, 2007–March 2, 2008.
Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1940. no. 212, p. 63.
Rorimer, James J. "A Treasury at the Cloisters." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 6, no. 9 (May 1948). p. 243.
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. pp. 364–66, fig. 411.
Hoffmann, Konrad, ed. The Year 1200: A Centennial Exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 1. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1970. no. 107, pp. 101–102.
Gerson, Paula. "Relics and Reliquaries." In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, and Grover A. Zinn. Garland Encyclopedias of the Middle Ages, Vol. 2. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1995. p. 791 .
van Os, Henk. The Way to Heaven: Relic Veneration in the Middle Ages. Baarn, the Netherlands: De Prom, 2000. pp.136–138.
Taburet-Delahaye, Elisabeth. "Le bras-reliquaire de saint Landelin à Crespin." In Actes du Colloque: Autour de Hugo d'Oignies, edited by Robert Didier, and Jacques Toussaint. Namur: Société Archéologique de Namur, 2004. pp. 210–11, ill.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 41, pp. 76, 195.
Chaganti, Seeta, and Palgrave McMillan, a division of St. Martin's Press. The Medieval Poetics of the Reliquary: Enshrinement, Inscription, Performance. New York, 2008. pp. 1, 4, fig. Intr.3.
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. 74.
Gertsman, Elina. Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015. p. 132, fig. 106.
Stein, Wendy A. How to Read Medieval Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. p. 15, fig. 9.
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