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Blessing Bishop (Saint Nicholas of Bari)

Date:
ca. 1350–75
Geography:
Made in probably Umbria, Italy
Culture:
Central Italian
Medium:
Poplar, paint, gilt
Dimensions:
Overall: 73 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 13 1/2 in., 39lb. (186.7 x 44.5 x 34.3 cm, 17690.3g)
Classification:
Sculpture-Wood
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1925
Accession Number:
25.120.218
  • Description

    The bishop's chasuble, the principle 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.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: (red medallions): AVE MARIA

  • Provenance

    From the parish church of San Nicola di Bari, Monticchio, L'Aquila; George Grey Barnard American, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania 1863–1938 New York , New York (by 1913–until 1925)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
472312

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