Saturday, July 26, 2014

St. Anne at the Met

Benedikt Dreyer, The Meeting at the Golden Gate
German, ca. 1515-1520
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art






Since today is the feast day of Saints Anne and Joachim I am perhaps more sensitive to their imagery than usual.  So, yesterday afternoon, I couldn't help noticing that, as I walked through the Medieval Sculpture Hall at the main building of the Metropolitan Museum, two different images of St. Anne were on display, fairly close to each other.

The first one to catch my eye was the statue by the German Benedikt Dreyer of the Meeting at the Golden Gate (about which I wrote here).









The second image, and one of my personal favorites, is a version of the Anna selbdritt image (see here), also German, which includes Anne's own mother, St. Emerentia in the group.

Anonymous, Madonna and Child with Saints Anne and Emerrntia
German (possibly Hildesheim), 1515-1530
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art

This unusual version of the Anna selbdritt is usually on display at the Met, however, the Dreyer Meeting at the Golden Gate is not.  I don't suppose that the curators in the Medieval Department at the Met were consciously thinking of the feast day of Mary's parents, though perhaps they were, but I was very pleased to find these two images from their iconography on display in such close proximity to each other and to the feast.

Dating from between 1515-1530, these two polychromed wooden statues from the iconography of St. Anne (details here) demonstrate the popularity of such images on the very eve of the Reformation, which began in 1517.  That they managed to survive the iconoclasm of the Reformation period is nothing short of miraculous.

Happy Feast Day of St. Joachim and St. Anne!

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

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