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Between and Mortarboard


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Apostle

Accession Number
1957/2.3

Title
Apostle

Artist(s)
Belgian

Object Creation Date
circa 1350-1360

Medium & Support
marble with gilding

Dimensions
22 7/8 x 8 1/8 x 6 15/16 in. (58 x 20.5 x 17.5 cm);22 7/8 x 8 1/8 x 6 15/16 in. (58 x 20.5 x 17.5 cm);19 5/16 x 5 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. (49 x 14.6 x 11.4 cm);3 9/16 x 8 1/8 x 6 15/16 in. (9 x 20.5 x 17.5 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
March 28, 2009
This gravely expressive apostle originally decorated a church interior as part of a larger sculptural ensemble that probably included other apostles and religious figures. The artist parades his virtuosity in the undulating folds that cascade down the front of the apostle and complement the luxuriant waves of hair and beard that frame his face. This skillful carving of the figure’s front, however, contrasts with the rougher finish visible on the back. The lack of finish was a cost-cutting measure and indicates that the sculpture was created for a niche—its back would have remained unseen. The steep incline of the figure’s head and its relatively large size also suggest that the figure must have been placed above eye-level. These adjustments to the figure’s pose and anatomy were calculated to counteract the effects of viewing the sculpture from below, which could make the head and hands seem smaller and thereby diminish the figure’s expressive force.

Subject matter
This standing apostle, produced in the Belgian city of Liege, formerly stood in the interior of a church, where he would have appeared in a niche above eye level as part of a larger sculptural ensemble that probably included the other apostles and religious figures.

Physical Description
This marble statue depicts a standing male figure, who holds a closed book in his left hand and makes what appears to be a gesture indicating speech with his right. The curls of his flowing beard and long hair are echoed in the gentle curving folds and undulating edges of his long robe and mantle. He turns his head downward and to his left

Primary Object Classification
Sculpture

Primary Object Type
statue

Additional Object Classification(s)
Ritual Object

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Christianity
apostles
blessing (religious function)
books
cards (information artifacts)
statues

4 Related Resources

Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Early Modern European Objects
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Religious Life in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
The Divine Comedy
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display