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A Kneeling Knight with Saint John the Baptist

Artist/maker unknown, French

Made in Burgundy, France, Europe

c. 1470-1480


34 1/4 x 11 3/4 x 12 1/2 inches (87 x 29.8 x 31.8 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Bequest of Carl Otto Kretzschmar von Kienbusch, 1977

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While the identity of this kneeling knight remains unknown, it is likely that he supported a religious organization for which this sculpture was made. The general concept of the work follows a famous prototype by the sculptor Claus Sluter (active 1379 - 1406) made for the entrance portal of the Chartreuse de Champmol in Dijon, a monastery founded in 1383 by Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy. Sluter’s representation shows Saint John the Baptist acting as intercessor for the duke with the Virgin and Christ child to ensure eternal salvation. This sculptural group may have been part of a similar—if more modest—arrangement, with the same important purpose in mind.