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Panel - St. Matthew

St. Matthew

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1830-40 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glazed limewood carved in relief

  • Museum number:

    4841-1858

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This panel, part of a four panel relief is representing St Matthew and is made circa between 1830-40 in Germany.

Although the carver rendered the hands and faces of the Evangelists more or less skillfully, other elements such as the ox, the piles of books, the tracery, and even the schematic drapery are relatively clumsily carved. For these reasons it may be suggested that the four reliefs were made in the first half of the 19th century. They were perhaps historicizing pieces, possibly made in about 1830-40 in a workshop which was highly receptive to the neo-Gothic style, perhaps to decorate a pulpit (as would have been appropriate for these subjects), and quickly removed from their original context, or never used.
Alternatively the present pieces may have been made to deceive, and sold by an unscrupulous dealer as genuine 15th century pieces.

Physical description

First piece of a four part panel relief carved in limewood showing St. Matthew in profile seated on a chair, wearing a cloak and cap. He holds the board of a lectern with his right hand, while with his raised left hand he receives the scroll proffered by the hovering angel approaching him from the right. He looks up towards the angel.
The whole relief comprises five pieces of wood nailed and dowelled together, with a cramp at the bottom.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)

Date

ca. 1830-40 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Glazed limewood carved in relief

Dimensions

Height: 56.5 cm, Width: 48.5 cm, Depth: 6 cm

Object history note

Formerly in the David Falcke Collection, London. Falke Sale, Christie and Manson, London, 19 April 1858, lot 2886. Bought for £4 4s for each panel.

Historical context note

Although the carver rendered the hands and faces of the Evangelists more or less skillfully, other elements such as the ox, the piles of books, the tracery, and even the schematic drapery are relatively clumsily carved. For these reasons it may be suggested that the four reliefs were made in the first half of the 19th century. They were perhaps historicizing pieces, possibly made in about 1830-40 in a workshop which was highly receptive to the neo-Gothic style, perhaps to decorate a pulpit (as would have been appropriate for these subjects), and quickly removed from their original context, or never used.
Alternatively the present pieces may have been made to deceive, and sold by an unscrupulous dealer as genuine 15th century pieces.

Descriptive line

Panel, relief, St. Matthew, by an unknown artist, made ca. 1830-40, Germany

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1858. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 18
Jopek, Norbert. German Sculpture 1430-1540, A Catalogue of the Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 2002, pp. 151-153, cat.no. 71a.
Jopek, Norbert. German Sculpture 1430-1540, A Catalogue of the Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 2002, pp. 151-153, cat.no. 716

Materials

Limewood

Techniques

Carving; Relief; Glazing

Subjects depicted

Scroll; Lectern; Cloak; Angel; Cap

Categories

Christianity; Religion; Sculpture; Reliefs

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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