Pluvial (Cope of the Virgin Mary)


Treasury, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

Treasury, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
Vienna, Austria

The formal division of the Cope of the Virgin Mary is similar to that
of the Cope of Christ. The embroidered shield on the back
shows the Mother of God (the shields give the individual copes their
names), while the orphreys are again ornamented with embroidered
pictures of Apostles and prophets. With the exceptions of the angels, all
the figures displayed on the cope’s semicircular surface are female saints.
Mary is interpreted here as an intercessor, making an additional
connection apparent between the three copes – alongside the overarching
theme of an All Saints picture: because the three priests stood side by side
at the altar during vespers, the image provided by their backs was virtually
that of a cohesively composed painting. The shield of the third cope bears
an image of John the Baptist, and all three shields viewed together
combine to create a so-called Deësis. This is a tripartite icon of the
Eastern Orthodox Church, thematically related to the Judgement Day,
showing Christ enthroned between the Virgin Mary on his right and John
the Baptist on his left, who implore Christ to show mercy to sinful
mankind. © Masterpieces of the Secular Treasury, Edited by Wilfried Seipel, Vienna 2008


  • Title: Pluvial (Cope of the Virgin Mary)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1425/1440
  • Location Created: Brussels
  • Physical Dimensions: w330 x h164 cm
  • Inventory Number: KK 21
  • Type: Liturgical Vestment
  • External Link: http://www.kaiserliche-schatzkammer.at/

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps