Jan 30, 2007
Jan 30, 2007

Enamel Plaque from the Altar Frontal of Saint Martin at Orense (Spain)

Enamel Plaque from the Altar Frontal of Saint Martin at Orense (Spain)

1174–1213 (probably before 1188)

Copper: engraved, stippled, gilded; champlevé enamel

Average: 13.7 x 8.9 cm (5 3/8 x 3 1/2 in.)

Gift of Kelvin Smith 1966.735


This almond-shaped enamel plaque depicts the half-length figure of an angel inscribed in a medallion. A nearly identical plaque in the cathedral treasury of St. Martin at Orense in Galicia (Northern Spain) suggests that this plaque once formed part of a large altar frontal commissioned by Bishop Alfonso of Orense (reigned 1174-1213). Fifty-three enameled plaques of this important ensemble are still preserved at the Cathedral of Orense. Others, including this one, were possiblu removed during the Napoleonic era.

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