Christ Child with an Apple

Circle of Michel Erhart German

On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 20

The engaging curly-haired Christ Child stands with welcoming open arms as he holds a red apple in his right hand. In the late Middle Ages, such images often were the focus of altar decoration at Christmas, and documents reveal that nuns frequently were given such sculptures by their families upon taking monastic vows. The painted flesh tones of this example are extraordinarily well preserved. The sculpture is carved from the same piece of willow; only the green turf on which the figure stands has been largely repainted, and the hair has lost its gilding.

#137. Christ Child with an Apple

Christ Child with an Apple, Circle of Michel Erhart (German, Ulm, active 1464–1522), Willow with original paint and traces of gold, German

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