By descent from a noble family, from the Sambre-et-Meuse district since circa 1800
The treatment to the drapery with the softening of the intricate folds points to a date at the turn of the thirteenth century; note the oak figures of the Virgin and St. John dating to 1260-1270 in the church of St. Martin, illustrated by Wezemaal in the Rhein Maas exhibition catalogue. For a comparable narrative architectural relief, including the distinctive inclusion of the foliate branch, compare with the high relief in chalkstone which was formerly part of the rood loft of Notre Dame Cathedral in Amiens (destroyed in 1755), now in the Louvre (inv.no. 450). For a stylistic comparison, the detail of the fish, swimming flat against a background of stylized waves, can be closely compared to a detail on the capitol showing Moses parting the Red Sea in the Toledo Museum of Art. The marble capitol is illustrated in Gillmerman and dated to the early 13th Century, from the abbey of Saint-Pons-de-Thomiers.
Rhein und Maas, p.332, L7; Musée du Louvre, p.102; Williamson, chapter 7; Gillerman, p. 369, no. 268
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