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Corpus Mosan


Origin / Date Mosan, c. 1150-70
Material Bronze gilt
Dimensions 17.5 cm
Availability Sold


Complete except for thumb of right hand, the hair falling in twisted strands, the beard finely stippled, eyes shut, the legs parallel and freestanding, large nailholes, the cloth with large knot and strong radial folds.


Swiss collection of T. Muller to 1980. Private collection London. This atypical mosan corpus was published by Peter Bloch (1) who describes it as: “Highly expressive and dramatic, with the upper torso turned right, the head twisted on a long neck, finely delineated marking of breastbone and ribs, powerfully wrought cingulum with twisted knot on right hip and a quadripartite parallel marking of the diagonal hem, with three radial folds above, the whole shifted right as if opening above the thigh.”

His description shows clearly enough with what economy of means, whether in the lines of the casting, especially the loincloth, or the lines of the engraving, the breast and ribs for ex, the most powerful emotion is brought forward. Of all the works that led art lovers from the 19th century onwards to speak of the High Middle Ages as “haute époque”, Romanesque corpi of the 12th century constitute one of the foremost and most sought-after objects. Never before or since has the figure of Christ radiated such simplicity and strength, and this at the time that Europe truly began its enormous economic and intellectual expansion which forms the foundation of its influence today.

Our rare corpus is an important example of this type, complete, and with a substantial amount of original gilding.

1. 1992, no VII A5.

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