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The Man of Sorrows
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The Man of Sorrows

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Under a polygonal canopy featuring three cusped ogee arches, supported by a pair of columns composed of shafts in three different patterns, and opening into a Gothic chapel with ribbed vaults (closely resembling that of stained-glass panels of the end of the fifteenth century in the church of Saint-Michel-des-Monts, Limoges), Christ appears behind a balustrade, between Mary and St. John. This kind of plaque featuring a subject popular for prevate devotion was very possibly for a private wpace such as a bedroom or a monk's cell. Christ, crowned with thorns, is nude and bleeding from his wounds. He uplifts his pierced right hand. The Virgin, her joined hands inert before her, stands to his right. St. John, his arms crossed over his chest, stands to the left of Christ. On the purplish-brown balustrade between the two columns are laid the purple mantle with clasps of the Mocking of Christ, the thirty coins of Judas, the three dice of the Calvary and the three nails of the cross. These objects, selected among those pertaining to the Passion of Christ, in the Middle Ages constituted the 'coat-of-arms of Christ' (Arma Christi), and they are consequently brought to the foreground at the bottom of the plaque, in the location that would be reserved for a heraldic coat-of-arms. The ledge is supported by eight small columns alternately pink and lavender and speckled with green. Two of the prophets who foretold the Passion of Christ stand on brackets between the arches of the canopy.
Date Description Narrative
1/07/1963Examinationexamined for condition
10/23/1984Examinationtechnical study
  • Undercover Stories in Art. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1980.
  • To Arrest the Ravages of Time: Caring for Art at the Walters. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1996.
  • Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2011-2012.
Provenance Frédéric Spitzer, Paris, by purchase; Frédéric Spitzer Sale, Paul Chevallier and Charles Mannheim, Paris, April 17, 1893, lot 418; Oscar Hainauer, Berlin [date of acquisition unknown], by purchase; Raoul Heilbronner, Paris [date of acquisition unknown], by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1913, by purchase, Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1913

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early 16th century (Renaissance)
painted enamel on copper
Accession Number
H: 8 3/8 x W: 6 3/4 in. (21.3 x 17.1 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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