Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Reliquary Diptych

late 14th century
Central Italian
Verre églomisé, polychromy, wood, and metal
Overall (open): 8 3/8 x 12 1/2 x 9/16 in. (21.3 x 31.7 x 1.4 cm) Overall (closed): 8 3/8 x 6 1/8 x 1 1/8 in. (21.3 x 15.6 x 2.9 cm) each image (approx.): 2 13/16 x 1 5/8 in. (7.2 x 4.2 cm)
Glass-Verre églomisé
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 306
In his Craftsman's Handbook (about 1390), the Florentine artist Cennino Cennini outlines the "individual attractive, fine and unusual" process of gilding glass "for the embellishment of holy reliquaries." Here, small relics with identifying inscriptions are enclosed behind the decorated glass panels. The technique was often adopted for works made for Franciscans. This was surely the case here, since the reliquary features Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata and Saint Louis of Toulouse, as well as scenes of the Virgin and Christ child, Crucifixion, Saint Elizabeth (?), Saint Agnes, and Saint John the Baptist.
J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1917)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Choirs of Angels: Painting in Italian Choir Books, 1300-1500," November 25, 2008–April 12, 2009.

Gómez-Moreno, Carmen, ed. Medieval Images: A Glimpse into the Symbolism and Reality of the Middle Ages. Katonah: Katonah Museum of Art, 1978. no. 13, pp. 6-7, 18.

"Ein umbrisches Reliquiar im Kunstgewerbemuseum Schloß Köpenick." Forschungen und Berichte 31 (1991). p. 186.

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