Attributed to Master Heinrich of Constance / The Visitation / ca. 1310Attributed to Master Heinrich of Constance
The Visitation
ca. 1310

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Creator Name: Constance, Master Heinrich of
Creator Nationality: European; Northern European; German
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: active in Constance, ca. 1300
Creator Name-CRT: Attributed to Master Heinrich of Constance
Title: The Visitation
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1300
Creation End Date: 1320
Creation Date: ca. 1310
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: wood
Materials and Techniques: Walnut, polychromy, gilding, rock-crystal cabochons
Dimensions: 23 1/4 x 12 in. (59.1 x 30.5 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 17.190.724
Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Soon after the Virgin Mary learned of her miraculous conception of Jesus, she visited her kinswoman Elizabeth, who was also expecting a child, John the Baptist. This representation of their joyous meeting comes from the Dominican convent of Katharinenthal, in the Lake Constance region of present-day Switzerland. Carved of walnut, with the original paint and gilding almost completely preserved, the figures of Mary and Elizabeth are each inset with crystal-covered cavities through which images of their infants may originally have been seen. The representation of the Visitation incorporating images of the unborn Christ and John the Baptist, found with some frequency in contemporary works from German-speaking lands, emphasizes the moment when, according to 'The Golden Legend,' Saint John, being unable 'to manifest his joy with his tongue,' leapt 'with joy in his mother's womb.' The Virgin tenderly places her hand on Elizabeth's shoulder, while her cousin raises her arm to her breast in reference to her declaration, 'Who am I, that the mother of the Lord should visit me?' (Luke 1:43).

AMICA ID: MMA_.17.190.724
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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