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17th Century European Art

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Seated Figure of Christ

possibly 1600s
8 x 3 11/16 x 5 1/8 in. (20.3 x 9.3 x 13 cm)

Italian artist

Object Type: Sculpture
Medium and Support: Glazed terracotta, polychromy, gilding
Credit Line: Bertha Buswell Bequest
Accession Number: 1955.48
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view
Collection: Buswell-Hochstetter Collection

The Christian image called the “Man of Sorrows” originated in German art during the 1400s in response to late medieval devotional practices. The image came not from stories of the life of Christ, but from passages in the Old Testament, in particular Isaiah 53, which theologians saw as foreshadowing the coming of the Messiah: “He is despised and rejected of men, a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”

This statuette is difficult to localize or date. Depictions of the Man of Sorrows took many forms and were created in many cultures and media. These images were transmitted across Europe through highly portable prints as well as by itinerant artists. Although not definitive, the medium here of glazed terracotta suggests a southern rather than northern European artist.

[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]

Bertha Hochstetter (Mrs. Henry) Buswell, Buffalo, NY; her bequest to the Gallery, 1941; lifetime interest held by her brother, Ralph Hochstetter, Buffalo, NY, until his death in 1955, when it passed to the Gallery

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It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue Entry for this artwork in the It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue. The exhibition ran from March 17-June 9, 2013

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