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03443
formerly attributed to:

PILON, Germain


Paris 1535 - Paris 1590

France 16th century


Franco-Flemish, second half of 16th century

Charité

Charity

1550-1600

alabaster

group

Dimensions (HxWxD): with base: H. 16 12; without base: 11 34 x 5 12 in.

Acc. No.: 1951.541

Credit Line: Gift of Baroness R. de Kerchove

Photo credit: The Cleveland Museum of Art

© Artist : public domain


Provenance

  • New York, Michel Dreicer (1868-1921)
  • 1921, upon his death, held in trust by the estate
  • 1921, Estate of Michel Dreicer, by bequest to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • 1921-1933, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, temporarily exhibited in the Room of Recent Acquisitions (1921-1922), later moved to Sculpture (Floor 1, Room 6, 1922-1933)
  • by 1933, returned to Mrs. Maisie Shainwald Dreicer Whyte (1889-1976, Baroness René de Kerchove), widow of Michael Dreicer (Mrs. Dreicer Whyte had challenged Michael Dreicer's will)
  • New York, Baroness René de Kerchove
  • 1951, by gift to the Cleveland Museum of Art

Bibliography

  • Museum's website (accessed March 11, 2021)
  • 1966 Handbook
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1966, Cleveland, The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1966, p. 103, repr.
  • 1969 Handbook
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1969, Cleveland, The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1969, p. 103, repr.
  • 19678 Handbook
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1978, Cleveland, The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978, p. 118, repr.

Exhibitions

  • 1956 Cleveland
    Art: The International Language, The Cleveland Museum of Art, October 2-November 4, 1956

Comment

  • Museum's website (accessed March 11, 2021):
    When this alabaster group entered the museum's collection, it was thought to depict the Virgin Mary, Christ, and Saint John the Baptist. It has been identified, however, as a personification of Charity, the most elevated of the three Christian theological virtues. The two other theological virtues are Faith and Hope. Within Christian belief, Charity is also known as a supernatural virtue, where the object of human conduct is the ultimate unification with God through love. Alluding to its eminent position, Charity sits enthroned, with powerful hybrid beasts supporting her chair. The diminutive footstool propping up her left foot may refer to the necessity of humility in one's relationship to God. Also, a child raises a vessel filled with fruits to another suggesting that selflessness and love are attributes of charitable actions.