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Diptych with Scenes of the Annunciation, Nativity, Crucifixion, and Resurrection

Date:
1300–1325
Geography:
Made in probably Cologne, Germany
Culture:
German
Medium:
Silver gilt with translucent and opaque enamels
Dimensions:
Overall (opened): 2 3/8 x 3 3/8 x 5/16 in. (6.1 x 8.6 x 0.8 cm) Overall (Closed): 2 3/8 x 1 3/4 x 1/2 in. (6.1 x 4.5 x 1.2 cm)
Classification:
Enamels-Translucent
Credit Line:
Gift of Ruth Blumka, 1980
Accession Number:
1980.366
  • Description

    An outstanding example of Gothic goldsmiths' work and enameling, this small devotional diptych achieves a gemlike quality through its accomplished technique and graceful style. The outer scenes of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection are executed in translucent enamel with details in opaque enamel, while the inner scenes of the Annunciation and the Nativity are in the form of cast reliefs. The diptych generally has been attributed to either a Parisian or a Cologne workshop, but a more precise localization is made difficult not only by the mobility of artists and the resultant transmission of styles, but also by the palpable stylistic differences between the outer and inner wings. In addition, the unusual inclusion of a midwife in the Nativity scene is an iconographic peculiarity that appears for the most part to have been of Austrian origin. While the place in which this diptych originated remains somewhat uncertain, the essential stylistic qualities of the work link it with Cologne.

  • Provenance

    John Edward Taylor , London (until 1912) ; [his sale, Christie's, London (July 1-4, 1912, no. 235)] ; [ Ruth and Leopold Blumka , New York (until 1980)]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
469858

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