Wool, linen, and metallic thread (gilt membrane on silk) on linen
Overall: 35 1/4 x 65 1/2in. (89.5 x 166.4cm)
The Cloisters Collection, 1991
Not on view
This altar frontal depicts Christ as the Man of Sorrows displaying the wounds from his Crucifixion. He wears the Crown of Thorns as well as the cloak in which he was dressed by Roman soldiers prior to his execution. A popular devotional image in the late Middle Ages, the Man of Sorrows incites the viewer's empathy with Christ's suffering. Here, Christ is accompanied by Saint John the Baptist and the Virgin on the left, and by saints John the Evangelist and Jerome on the right. The arms of the Nuremberg citizen Martin Pessler (died 1463) and his wife, Margarete Toppler (died 1469), appear at the bottom. This tapestry may well be one of the seven altar frontals Margarete is known to have given to the Lorenzkirche in Nuremberg, a parish church that was richly endowed by the city's merchant class in the late Middle Ages.
Marking: Arms (at the bottom corners): Martin Pessler, Margarete Toppler
Possibly from St. Lorenzkirche, Nuremberg; [ Ruth and Leopold Blumka, New York (sold 1991) ]
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Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 226, pp. 184–85.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 87, pp. 12, 197.
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. 128.