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About This Artwork
Plaque with Bishop, 1180/1200
Gilt copper and champlevé enamel
15.2 x 6.4 cm (6 x 2 1/2 in.)
Kate S. Buckingham Endowment, 1943.88
Medieval to Modern European Painting and Sculpture
Not on Display
This plaque—the finest example of medieval enameling in the Art Institute’s collection—most likely formed the right half of an arch on a reliquary shrine. The bishop represented here holds a model of a church that he has had constructed in his covered right hand, symbolizing the sacred nature of this gift to God. Due to its refined style, scholars have drawn comparisons between this plaque and those of the famous Klosterneuburg retable, which was produced by the artist Nicholas of Verdun in 1181. It has also been suggested that this plaque depicts Archbishop Bruno of Cologne (921–965) holding a model of the Church of Saint Pantaleon in that city. At the very least, it is a remarkable example of the virtuosity of goldsmiths working for wealthy ecclesiastical foundations in the valleys of the Rhine and Meuse rivers during this era.
— Permanent collection label
Frankfurt-am-Main, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Ausstellung alter Goldschmiedearbeiten aus Frankfurter privatbesitz und kirchenschätzen, June–September 1914, cat. 104.
Art Institute of Chicago, Masterpieces of Craftsmanship from Medieval Church Treasuries, October 8–November 30, 1942.
Art Institute of Chicago and San Francisco, M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, Art of the United Nations, November 6, 1944–January 1, 1945, May 15–June 30, 1945, cat. 35.
Liège, Exposition Internationale, Art Mosan et arts anciens du pays de Liège, September 1–October 31, 1951, cat. 113.
Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Trésors d’art de la Vallée de la Meuse, December 1951–February 1952, cat. 80.
Rotterdam, Museum Boymans, Kunst der Maasvallei, 1952, cat. 81.
Paris, Musée du Louvre, L’Europe gothique: XIIe–XIVe siècles, April 2–July 1, 1968, cat. 369.
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Year 1200, February 12–May 10, 1970, cat. 197.
Cologne, Schnütgen-Museum, Brussels, Königlichen Museen für Kunst und Geschichte, Rhein und Maas: Kunst und Kultur 800-–1400, May 14–July 23, September 15–October 31, 1972, pp. 221, 224, fig. 52.
Stuttgart, Würtembergisches Landesmuseum, Die Zeit der Staufer: Geschichte, Kunst, Kultur, March 26–June 5, 1977, vol. 1, cat. 562; vol. 2, fig. 364.
University Park, The Pennsylvania State University Museum of Art, Art of the Heroic Age, October 1–November 12, 1978, cat. 9 (ill.).
Cologne, Schnütgen-Museum, Ornamenta Ecclesiae: Kunst und Künstler der Romanik, March 7–June 9, 1985, vol. 1, p. 160, cat. B12, pl. B12.
Art Institute of Chicago, Medieval Decorative Arts from Chicago Collections, October 2, 1985–January 5, 1986.
Leningrad, State Hermitage Museum, and Moscow, State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Medieval Art from The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Art Institute of Chicago, May 10–July 10, 1990, August 14–October 14, 1990, cat. 36.
Cologne, Museum Schnütgen, Splender and Glory of the Middle Ages, November 4, 2011-Febuary 26, 2012, no. 37.
Georg Swarzenski, “Aus dem Kunstkreis Heinrichs des Löwen,” Städel-Jahrbuch 7–8 (1932), p. 338 n. 169.
Hermann Schnitzler, “Nikolaus von Verdun und der Albinusschrein,” Wallraf–Richartz Jahrbuch 11 (1939), pp. 78–80, fig. 71.
Hanns Swarzenski, “Recent Literature, Chiefly Periodical, on Medieval Minor Arts,” Art Bulletin 24, 3 (1942), pp. 300–301.
Oswald Goetz, “Medieval Enamels and Metalwork in the Buckingham Collection,” Bulletin of The Art Institute of Chicago 38, 7 (1944), pp. 108–110, fig. 6.
Meyric R. Rogers, “Decorative Arts,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago: Report for the Year 1943 38, 3 (1944), pp. 16–17.
“Art Esperanto of Thirty-Seven United Nations,” Art News 43, 15 (1944), p. 11 (ill.).
“Great Medieval Art for Chicago,” The Year 1944, The Art Institute of Chicago Annual Report (1945), p. 5 (ill.).
Meyric R. Rogers and Oswald Goetz, Handbook to the Lucy Maud Buckingham Medieval Collection (Chicago, 1945), pp. 66–67, no. 29, pl. 33.
Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1945), p. 18 (ill.).
Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1948), p. 15 (ill.).
Hanns Swarzenski, Monuments of Romanesque Art: The Art of Church Treasures in North-Western Europe (Chicago, 1954), p. 82, no. 221, fig. 521.
Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1956), pp. 14, 18 (ill.).
Otto Demus, “Nicholas of Verdun,” Encyclopedia of World Art (McGraw-Hill, 1958), vol. 10, p. 637.
Peter Bloch, “Erzbischof Bruno in Darstellungen des frühen Mittelalters,” Jahrbuch des Kölnischen Geschichtsvereins 40 (1966), pp. 43–44, fig. 3.
John Maxon, The Art Institute of Chicago (Harry N. Abrams, 1970), p. 220.
Willibald Sauerländer, “‘The Year 1200’: A Centennial Exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. February 12–May 10, 1970,” Art Bulletin 53, 4 (1971), p. 514.
Philippe Verdier, “Emaux Mosan et Rheno-Mosans dans le collections des États-Unis,” Revue Belge d’archeologie et d’histoire l’art 44 (1975), pp. 81–84 (ill.).
Christina Nielsen, ed. Devotion and Splendor: Medieval Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 30, 2 (2004), pp. 15, 31.
Glanz und Größe des Mittlelalters, ed. Dagmar Täube and Miriam Verena Fleck, Exh. cat. (Hirmer, 2012), p. 5, p. 285, (ill.), p. 286.
Ian Wardropper and Lynn Springer Roberts, European Decorative Arts in The Art Institute of Chicago, (Chicago, 1991), pp. 11, 13 (ill.).
Antoine Jos. Essingh (d. 1864), Cologne [according to copy of annotated registrar’s card in curatorial file; see also Cologne 1985 exh. cat.]. Richard von Passavant-Gontard, Frankfurt, by 1914 [see Frankfurt 1914 exh. cat.]. Otto Busch, Mainz, by 1929 [according to copy of registrar’s card in curatorial file; see also Schnitzler 1939]. Harry Fuld (b. 1879 - d. 1932), Frankfurt; by descent to his widow, Lucie Mayer-Fuld (d. 1966), Frankfurt, Berlin, and New York, 1932-1942 [according to incoming shipping receipt in curatorial file]; on loan to museum starting October 17, 1942 [according to incoming receipt in Registrar's file]; sold, through Raphael Stora, to the Art Institute, 1942 [according to incoming shipping receipt, mentioned above].
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