39 3/4 x 13 1/2 x 7 5/8 in. (101 x 34.3 x 19.4 cm)
Medium and Support:
Alabaster, traces of polychromy
Gift of George J. Demotte
Location: Currently on view
This statue represents a bishop, a key figure of the Church who oversees churches within a specific geographical area. In his left hand, he holds a crozier, now broken at the top, which is the hooked or curved shepherd’s staff that symbolizes the bishop’s role within the church as a pastoral leader. His right hand is raised in blessing. This bishop also has a richly-jeweled mitre, a tall peaked cap that is worn only by bishops, cardinals and the pope. His cope, or outer cloak, is carved to indicate elaborate embroidery.
Standing figures of this size often occupied niches at the sides of elaborate tombs or stood on top of columns, on consoles, and in doorways. This sculpture most likely represents an early Christian bishop saint or a long-dead holy figure from local history rather than a living person.
[Gallery label text, June 2013]