Alabaster was prized for its luster and capacity for fine details from the 14th to the 16th century particularly in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Spain. The gleaming stone was used for altarpieces and small sculptures, as well as for the tombs of wealthy princes. Despite the rich corpus of surviving works, medieval alabaster sculpture from continental Europe has not yet been highlighted by museums in Europe and North America.
This exhibition seeks to shed light on this important yet under-studied topic by gathering some of the most extraordinary surviving examples of alabaster works made in Europe during the late Middle Ages. The majority of objects on view are from the CMA’s collection and allow insight into the production of alabaster sculptures in this period. Loans from North American museums complement the exhibition.