La “Couronne des Andes” acquise par le MET de New York

Thomas P. Campbell, directeur du Metropolitan Museum of Art, a annoncé il y a peu l’acquisition d’un véritable trésor de joaillerie. La Couronne de la Vierge est une remarquable pièce de d’orfèvrerie datant de la fin du XVIIe siècle en or repoussé et serti de 443 émeraudes.

Elle fut fabriquée pour habiller une statue de la Cathédrale de Popayan dans l’ancien royaume de Nouvelle-Grenade, aujourd’hui la Colombie. C’est un objet représentatif des techniques artistiques de cette région dont l’exploitation de l’or et des émeraudes a assuré une certaine richesse.

Mesurant 34,3 cm de hauteur et 33,7 en diamètre, cette pièce pèse 2,4 kilos. Elle est constituée de deux parties. La première datant de 1660 environ et la deuxième vers 1770. Le poids total des émeraudes est estimé à plus de 846 carats dont un centre de 24 carats dénommé l’émeraude Atahualpa.

Cette pièce détenue dans une collection privée américaine depuis 1936 avait été rarement exposée au public.

À bientôt !

Capture d’écran 2015-12-03 à 20.18.57

Photo : MET Museum

“Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today that one of the most important examples of goldsmith’s work from colonial Spanish America—a magnificent 17th- to 18th-century repoussé and chased gold crown with 443 emeralds—has been acquired by the Museum.

The richly ornamented Crown of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, known as the Crown of the Andes,” takes the form of a diadem encircled by vinework set with emerald clusters in the shape of flowers, topped by imperial arches and a cross-bearing orb. Made to adorn a statue in the cathedral of Popayán in the Spanish viceroyalty of New Granada (now Colombia), the crown represents one of the most distinctive artistic achievements of a region whose wealth derived from the mining of gold and emeralds. It is on view at the Met in gallery 357.

This important acquisition—an anchor for the development of a new area of collection at the Met—signals the Museum’s renewed interest in Latin American art. As the work’s early date suggests, our commitment extends to the art of all periods of the region,” commented Mr. Campbell. “Created through the virtuosity of the Spanish colonial artists, the crown serves as a vivid expression of the cultural values and aspirations of the community within which it was made and used.

Measuring 13-1/2 in. (34.3 cm) in height and 13-1/4 in. (33.7 cm) in diameter, the crown weighs 2.4 kg (5.3 pounds). It was constructed in two sections—the diadem first, in around 1660, and the arches second, around 1770. The estimated weight of the distinctive deep bluish-green emeralds is 846.15 carats, with the largest a 24-carat gemstone known as the “Atahualpa emerald.

It was a common practice in the Spanish world to bestow lavish gifts, including jewels and sumptuous garments, on sacred images of the Virgin. Such gifts were used to petition for her intercession or to give thanks for it, and they point to an interrelationship between the prestige of an image, the magnitude of devotion to it, and the richness of its adornment.

Although a number of votive crowns from the colonial period survive in cathedral treasuries in Spanish America, few are of comparable size and quality. The “Crown of the Andes,” which has been privately owned in the United States since 1936, has only rarely been on public view.”

See you soon !

Source : MET Museum

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