Saint Paul

Tournai
Medieval (Gothic)
mid-15th century (?)
Probably by Guillaume le Fevre


Object Place: Europe, Dinant, Belgium

Dimensions

28.7 x 11.8 x 7.7 cm (11 5/16 x 4 5/8 x 3 1/16 in.)

Accession Number

56.264

Medium or Technique

Latten (79.4% copper, 17.9% zinc, 1.1% lead, 1.6% tin)

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Metalwork

Frontal standing figure on open circular base, hollow cast in one piece and with an attachment pin inserted in its unfinished back. Leaning slightly to the left, Saint Paul holds a sword, the instrument of his martyrdom, in his right hand and a closed book with clasps in his left. He wears a wide-sleeved belted tunic from which the toes of both feet protrude and a mantel draped over the chest, pulled across the abdomen, and held behind the right hand. His hairline receding, except for a tuft on the forehead, Paul has long hair curled under at the ends and a beard marked by symmetrical corkscrew curls. There is a small round plug in the base.
Inserted in the back of the figure is a threaded rectangular pin with a hole for attachment. Above are deep indentations, that on Saint Paul piercing the surface. Narrow vertical indentations, probably for securing the object in place are found at the base. A notch cut from the left side of Saint Paul’s base and two circular indentations below the pin on the back may have served the same purpose. Set with St. Peter (56.263).

Provenance

1446, possibly part of the baptismal font, St. Martin at Hall, Tournay [see note 1]. 1955, consigned by Gerard J. Stora to Raphael Stora, New York (stock no. C-140-3a-b); 1956, sold by Stora to the MFA for $3,100 [see note 2]. (Accession Date: April 12, 1956)

NOTES:
[1] This suggestion was made by Hanns Swarzenski in his curatorial recommendation for the purchase of this object and its companion (MFA accession nos. 56.263 and 56.264). [2] MFA object numbers 56.263 and 56.264 were purchased together.

Credit Line

William Francis Warden Fund