Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Chalice à soleil

French, Paris
Gilded silver
Height: 8 1/4 in. (21 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. John H. Gutfreund Gift, 1996
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 544
This chalice, made in the early French Renaissance, is decorated with motifs that derived from the late medieval period: wavy sun rays on the bowl and dome of the foot, which evoke the meditation on the Sacred Monogram as preached by Saint Bernardin of Siena (d. 1444), and lily petals, a symbol of the Virgin. The projecting twelve semicircles of the foot and the twelve bosses of the knop are references to the apostles. These lively features are joined by others taken from the more static repertoire of classical ornament derived from Roman architecture: a stem formed as a fluted column, the flutes alternately channeled; beading at the junction of stem and foot; acanthus on the upper and lower poles of the knop; and a wreath encircling the step of the foot. Fleurs-de-lis, emblems of the French crown, are, strangely, found here as also on other French liturgical objects of the sixteenth century and may refer to the control over the church in France won by Francis I from Pope Leo X by the Concordat of Bologna in 1515. A shield-shaped frame on the foot encloses an insert engraved with the arms, episcopal hat, and angelic supporters of Bishop Fabio Mirto Frangipani. He was papal nuncio to the court of Charles IX from 1568 to 1572 and again in 1585. Engraved in the Fontainebleau style, this plaque replaces an earlier insert, which may have been enameled with a Crucifixion scene or engraved with the arms of the previous owner.
[ sale, Christie's, New York , October 18, 1995, lot 222; sold to Partridge Fine Arts, London ]; [ Partridge Fine Arts , London, 1995–96; sold to MMA ]
Related Objects


Artist: François-Desiré Froment-Meurice (1802–1855) Date: ca. 1850 Medium: Silver gilt Accession: 1999.217.1 On view in:Gallery 554


Date: ca. 1550 Medium: Lead-glazed earthenware inlaid with slip, with molded ornament Accession: 17.190.1740 On view in:Gallery 544


Artist: Adam Pijart (born 1579, master 1610) Date: 1625–26 Medium: Gilded silver Accession: 32.100.223 On view in:Gallery 532

Tureen with cover and liner

Artist: Jacques-Nicolas Roettiers (1736–1788, master 1765, retired 1777) Date: 1775–76 Medium: Silver Accession: 1986.320a–c On view in:Gallery 522

Tureen with cover

Artist: Edme-Pierre Balzac (1705–ca. 1786, master 1739, recorded 1781) Date: 1757–59 Medium: Silver Accession: 48.187.418a–c On view in:Gallery 545