Attributed to Niclaus Gerhaert von Leiden / Standing Virgin and Child / ca. 1470 (probably)Attributed to Niclaus Gerhaert von Leiden
Standing Virgin and Child
ca. 1470 (probably)

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Creator Name: Gerhaert von Leiden, Niclaus
Creator Nationality: European; Netherlandish
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: North Netherlandish, active in Strasbourg, 1460-died in Vienna, 1473?
Creator Name-CRT: Attributed to Niclaus Gerhaert von Leiden
Title: Standing Virgin and Child
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1460
Creation End Date: 1480
Creation Date: ca. 1470 (probably)
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: Sculpture-wood
Materials and Techniques: Boxwood, tinted lips and eyes
Dimensions: H. 13 1/4 in. (33.6 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1996.14
Credit Line: Purchase, The Cloisters Collection and Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1996

Niclaus Gerhaert, a seminal artist of the generation preceding Albrecht Dürer's, was born in Leiden and was active in Strasbourg and Vienna as well as several cities in between. Only three signed works are known, and a mere four others, including this sculpture, have been seriously thought to be by Gerhaert's hand.

This statuette expresses a combined sense of drama, monumentality, and elegance through the extraordinarily accomplished carving of the fine-grained wood. Among the naturalistic details that subtly enhance the total form is the delicate manner in which the Virgin's fingertips press into the chubby flesh of the child. Intended as an object of private devotion and continuing a long tradition in the use of boxwood for this purpose, it may well have been commissioned by a member of the imperial court in Vienna. The dark base with the fictive Dürer monogram and date on the back is from the nineteenth century. Both arms of the child and the section of drapery held in his left hand must date from this period as well.

AMICA ID: MMA_.1996.14
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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