Blessing Bishop (Saint Nicholas of Bari)

Central Italian

On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 08

The bishop's chasuble, the principal vestment worn by a priest, is represented with a black orphrey ornamented with a series of quatrefoils. The top medallion shows Christ with his hand raised in benediction, while the others contain letters that spell AVE MARIA. The grandeur and nobility of this figure, a rare example of Gothic wood sculpture from Italy, results from the careful balance of the elements of the bishop's vestments—the tall miter and the long elliptical drapery folds—with the attenuated proportions, the frontality of the pose, the authority of the facial expression, and the refinement in the painted surfaces, especially on the face and beard.

Blessing Bishop (Saint Nicholas of Bari), Poplar, paint, gilt, Central Italian

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