Hans von Reutlingen or Workshop
Silver, gilt silver
H. 5 1/8 in. (13 cm)
Purchase, Desmond Fitzgerald Charitable Fund Gift, 1987 (1987.217)
The Cloisters Collection, 1990 (1991.9)
This repoussé figure was made from hammered sheets of silver with attached cast elements, including the hands and book. The bishop is nearly identical to six figures on the base of the reliquary bust of Saint Lambert commissioned by Prince-Bishop Erard de la Marck for the Cathedral of Saint Lambert, Liège (destroyed), now in the treasury of Cathedral of Saint Paul in that city. The reliquary was begun in the workshop of Hans von Reutlingen in 1508 and delivered in time for the translation of the relics on April 28, 1512. The largest and most elaborate surviving example of late Gothic goldsmith work, the reliquary had been dismantled, vandalized, and restored many times since the late sixteenth century. It is thought that this figure was removed on one of these occasions and replaced with the corresponding cast now on the reliquary. The image probably represents one of the local bishop saints, such as Hubert, Materne, or Servais.