About this artwork
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.
- Nicholas of Verdun
- Plaque with a Bishop
- Germany (Object made in)
- Gilt copper, champlevé enamel
- 15.2 × 5.6 cm (6 × 2 3/16 in.)
- Kate S. Buckingham Endowment