Michel Erhart ( c. 1440 – after 1522)

A bust-length reliquary of a lady in fashionable dress
c. 1500
Germany, Ulm
gilded and polychromed limewood with carved pastiglia decoration
59.2 × 30.1 × 26.1 cm

While clearly intended to function in a liturgical context, the careful individuation of our figure’s facial type and the details of her costume suggest that the sculptor responsible was also seeking to represent a contemporary as opposed to a biblical female topos. 

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Sam Fogg
Art of the Middle Ages