Diptych with Scenes of the Annunciation, Nativity, Crucifixion, and Resurrection
Made in probably Cologne, Germany
Silver gilt with translucent and opaque enamels
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)
Gift of Ruth Blumka, 1980
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14
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.
John Edward Taylor, London (until 1912) ; [his sale, Christie's, London(July 1-4, 1912, no. 235)] ; [ Jacques Seligmann, Paris and New York (in 1912)] ; [ Ruth and Leopold Blumka, New York (until 1980)]
Wixom, William D. Treasures from Medieval France. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1967. no. V-12, pp. 192-93, 367-68.
Gómez-Moreno, Carmen. Medieval Art from Private Collections: A Special Exhibition at The Cloisters, October 30, 1968 through January 5, 1969. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1968. no. 166.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Eleventh Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1980, through June 30, 1981." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 111 (1981). p. 42.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions, 1980-1981 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1981). pp. 26-27.
Swarzenski, Hanns, and Nancy Netzer. Enamels & Glass: Catalogue of Medieval Objects. Catalogue of Medieval Objects in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1986. p. 112-13.
Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 94, p. 102.
Pushkin Museum and State Hermitage Museum. Dekorativno-prikladnoe iskusstvo ot pozdneĭ antichnosti do pozdneĭ gotiki: Iz sobraniĭ muze︠i︡a Metropoliten, Nʹ︠i︡u Ĭork i Khudozhestvennogo Instituta, Chikago. Moscow: Pushkin Museum, 1990. no. 51, pp. 12, 34, fig. 51.
State Hermitage Museum. Dekorativno-prikladnoe iskusstvo ot pozdneĭ antichnosti do pozdneĭ gotiki. St. Petersburg: State Hermitage Museum, 1990. no. 51, pp. 108-109.
Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 154, pp. 131–32.
Boehm, Barbara Drake, Abigail Quandt, and William D. Wixom. Das Stundenbuch der Jeanne d'Evreux / The Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux / Le Livre d'Heures de Jeanne d'Evreux: Commentary. Lucerne: Faksimile Verlage Luzern, 2000. p. 233, fig. 38-39.