Work classified as a Treasure by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (September 1, 2011)
This polychrome bas-relief depicts the Virgin sitting in majesty on a seat with a cushion. A rare depiction, she wraps the Child in her cloak, which presses the maternal breast through the notch of the bodice. The group is part of a curved frame, the moulding of which ends with a wide flat plane.
The relief comes from the former Benedictine abbey of Saint-Laurent in Liège. It owes its name to a late legend that says that Dom Rupert, a renowned Liège theologian in the early twelfth century and the future abbot of Deutz near Cologne, who was little versed in studies during his youth, solicited the Virgin Mary for intelligence, and received it.
Rather than being a contemporary of Dom Rupert, the work would have been located under the Abbey of Wazelin II (1149–1158). It is known that the activity favoured the embellishment of its monastery, or its successor.
More information on the Treasures of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation
The decree of 11 July 2002 makes it possible to classify as a Treasure, the goods which are of notable interest for the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. Within this framework, several works whose artistic quality, rarity or links with the history and history of art are no longer in question, are further enhanced by this classification. This recognition makes it possible to highlight these jewels of our artistic and cultural heritage, but above all to better protect them, to help restore them or to prevent them from being sold abroad. Several major historical works are recognised as Treasures each year.
A protected property is given the status of "treasure". This term originates from European law, which offers each Member State the possibility of protecting its "national treasures of artistic, historical or archaeological value". These treasures are therefore exempt from the principle of free movement of goods within the European Union and may be subject to restrictions or bans on leaving the national territory concerned.