During the Gothic period in northern Germany, images of the Twelve Apostles were frequently included in the decoration of altarpieces, either within the structure itself or below on the predella. Although the apostles are missing their traditional attributes, the key for Saint Peter and the sword for Saint Paul, they are each identified by an inscription on the base. Eight of the original group of Twelve Apostles to which these gilt bronzes belonged survive in various collections. They are unusually large and finely cast in high relief, datable by stylistic comparison to wood sculptures to approximately the middle of the fourteenth century. It is likely that these pieces were made for an altar in Lower Saxony, a region with a long medieval history of high quality metalwork.
Artist German
  • Saint Peter
Date early 14th century
Medium Gilded bronze
Dimensions Overall: 12 3/4 × 4 × 1 3/4 inches (32.4 × 10.2 × 4.4 cm)
Credit Line Gift of Anne and Henry Ford II
Accession Number 58.379
Department European Sculpture and Dec Arts
On View European: Medieval C263, Level 2 (see map)
Inscriptions Inscribed: PETRVSAP..
(Rosenberg & Stiebel, New York, New York, USA);
Anne and Henry Ford II;
1958-present, gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
The Waning of the Middle Ages. Exh. cat., Pomona College, Montgomery Art Center. Claremont, 1965, no 19.

Hackenbroch, Yvonne. Bronzes and Other Metalwork and Sculpture in the Irwin Untermyer Collection. London, 1962 (figs. 97-98).

Sammlung Kofler-Truniger. Email, Goldschmiede und Metallarbeiten. Lucerne, 1965, no E137.

Medieval Enamels and Sculptures from the Keir Collection. Exh. cat., Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. Kansas City, 1983, no. 100.

The Thomas F. Flannery Jr. Collection: Medieval and Later Works of Art. Sales cat., Sotheby Parke Bernet. London, December 1-2, 1983, p. 24.