Philip Pouncey, in 1965, identified this drawing as Baccio Ciarpi's preparatory study for his altarpiece in the church of San Silvestro in Capite, Rome. In the painting Saint Louis, King of France, appears to t... more
The mythical griffin, a creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion, often appeared in Christian contexts. The representation of two confronted griffins is derived from ancient Near Eas... more
This textile was part of a cap, whose paper lining (46.156.11b) shows words of an inscribed text. The style of this script appears to be connected with the Ayyubid, late Fatimid or early Mamluk periods, while t... more
From the Cathedral of Salerno, this plaque comes from a set of about fifty ivories depicting biblical scenes that may have decorated a large church furnishing. Made in Amalfi
Originally the central panel of a triptych, this ivory has a cavity below the Entombment scene that may indicate its function as a reliquary for pieces of the cross on which Jesus was crucified. Made in Amalfi
The names of Saints Augustine, Jerome, and Gregory are inscribed on the books held by the angels. The absence of Saint Ambrose from the group (the heads are missing) indicates that the standard form of identify... more
Carving on the back reveals that this slab was from a lintel of an earlier, perhaps Roman, monument. Older sculptural fragments can also be seen in the adjacent doorway from San Gemini. Made in possibly Umbria, Italy
This relief depicts an ox, the symbol of Saint Luke, holding a book with an inscription from the opening of his Gospel. A second inscription refers to the master sculptor Stephanus and his associates. Nothing m... more
Burning incense during church services symbolizes prayers rising to heaven. The architectural form of this censer is enriched by the animal forms that inhabit the surface.
Saint Peter Martyr, a hero of the Dominican order who was murdered by heretics in 1253, was named a saint within two weeks! When the Dominicans established their liturgy three years later, the feast of Saint Pe... more
The exceptional condition and quality of this silk, enriched with gold and highlights in red, are characteristic of the Sicilian royal workshops.