Christian scripture does not mention a moment when Jesus’ mother held his deceased body in her lap. Nonetheless, in the hands of theologians and then artists, this imagined moment became the focus of prayer and reflection. Here, the sculptor sets the emaciated, almost naked body of Jesus against the ample, enveloping robes of Mary, who grasps his thin wrist as if to check his pulse. The sculpture’s poignancy surpasses the boundaries of Christianity to touch a nerve about the love of a mother for her son and the tragedy of an early death.
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Medium:Limestone with polychrome highlight
Dimensions:15 x 15 3/8 x 5 1/2 in. (38.1 x 39.1 x 14.0 cm)
Credit Line:The Cloisters Collection, 2001
Michel Collection, Paris (until 1895) ; [ Julius Böhler, Munich (from 1895)] ; [ Julius Wilhelm Böhler, Munich (by 1934, by descent)] ; [ Julius Harry Böhler, Munich (by 1965, by descent)] ; Marion Böhler Eitle, Munich (by 1979, by descent) ; Christoph Eitle, Munich (1991, by descent–sold 2001)
Prague, Czech Republic. Picture Gallery, Prague Castle. "Karel IV., císař boží milosti: kultura a umění za vlády posledních lucemburků 1347-1437," February 16, 2006–May 21, 2006.
Burger, Fritz. "Ausstellung plastischer Bildwerke des 15. und 16. Jahrh. in München." Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst, n.s., 18 (1907). p. 155, fig. 14.
Pinder, Wilhelm. Die deutsche Plastik vom ausgehenden Mittelalter bis zum Ende der Renaissance 1 (1924). p. 175.
"A Selection of 2001 Museum Acquisitions." Apollo 154, no. 478 (December 2001). p. 28.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 2000-2001." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 59, no. 2 (Fall 2001). p. 20.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 78, pp. 113, 197.
Boehm, Barbara Drake, and Jiri Fajt, ed. Prague: The Crown of Bohemia, 1347–1437. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 112, pp. 264–65.
Schmidt, Gerhard. "The Beautiful Style." In Prague: The Crown of Bohemia, 1347–1437, edited by Barbara Drake Boehm, and Jiri Fajt. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. p. 105, [as cat. no. 112].
Fajt, Jiri, and Barbara Drake Boehm, ed. Karl IV., Kaiser von Gottes Gnaden: Kunst und Repräsentation des Hauses Luxemburg 1310-1437. Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2006. no. 145, pp. 450–52.
Barnet, Peter. "Recent Acquisitions (1999-2008) of Medieval Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters, New York: Supplement." The Burlington Magazine 150, no. 1268 (November 2008). p. 800, fig. XXIII.
Barnet, Peter. "Medieval Europe." In Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1977–2008, edited by James R. Houghton. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009. p. 24.
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. 119.
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