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Plaque with Censing Angels

Date:
ca. 1170–80
Geography:
Made in Limoges, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Champlevé enamel, copper gilt
Dimensions:
4 5/16 x 8 11/16 x 1/8in. (11 x 22.1 x 0.3cm)
Classification:
Enamels-Champlevé
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 2001
Accession Number:
2001.634
  • Description

    This enameled plaque originally crowned the top of a large, double-sided altar cross. With chalk-white faces and deep brows, the angels mournfully bear witness to the Crucifixion of Jesus. Their censers proclaim his death and allude to the consecration of bread into Christ's body, since incense was burned both at funerals and during Mass. The balanced, elegiac composition, the richness of the colors, and the refinement of the vermiculé background distinguish this object as one of the highest achievements of Limoges enamellers, renowned throughout medieval Europe.

  • Provenance

    Louis-Fidel Debruge-Duménil , Paris (before 1838) ; Baron Albert-Alexandre de Pourtalès-Gorgier , Paris (1850) ; comte James-Alexandre de Pourtalès-Gorgier , Paris (1850, by descent) ; Louis-Auguste-Alfred I Beurdeley (1865) ; Stieglitz Museum of Applied Arts (1905-1906) ; [ Brimo de Laroussilhe , Paris (May 1933)] ; Ernst and Marthe Kofler-Truniger , Lucerne (before 1960) ; Keir Collection (Edmund de Unger) , London (before 1981 - sold 2001)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
474263

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