Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Sanctuary lamp (Cesendello)

late 15th–early 16th century
Italian, Venice (Murano)
Glass, enameled and gilt
Height: 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1914
Accession Number:
Not on view
This type of hanging lamp, known as a cesendello, was a common element in bronze chandeliers known as polychandelons in Roman and Byzantine times and later became popular in both Venice and the Islamic world as larger individual lamps. Extraordinarily delicate, few cesendelli from the Renaissance period survive. The Christian subject matter—the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary—represented in the roundels of this example confirms its patron was from Venice rather than the Islamic world.
Harding (until 1914; sold to MMA)
Related Objects


Date: ca. 1475–1500 Medium: Glass, enameled and gilded Accession: 17.190.730a, b On view in:Gallery 500

Standing cup

Date: ca. 1530 Medium: Glass, enameled and gilt Accession: 1982.60.130 On view in:Gallery 537

A Young Warrior

Artist: Tullio Lombardo (Italian, ca. 1455–1532) , and workshop Date: 1490s Medium: White marble Accession: 32.100.155 On view in:Gallery 504

Saint Sebastian

Artist: Alessandro Vittoria (Alessandro Vittoria di Vigilio della Volpa) (Italian, 1525–1608) Date: 1566 Medium: Bronze Accession: 40.24 On view in:Gallery 536

Desk (Secretary)

Date: ca. 1730–35 Medium: Pine; carved, painted, gilded, and varnished linden wood decorated with colored decoupage prints; mirror glass; the inside of the fall front lined wiht silk not original to the secretary Accession: 25.134.1a, b On view in:Gallery 507