Ht. with chain 14 in. (35.5cm)
Diam. of plate: 10 7/16 (26.5cm)
Gift of Miriam N. Rosen, 2002
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301
Round flat hanging lamps, or polycandela, were lit by oil-filled glass vessels hung from the round holes in their designs. Paul the Silentiary in 563 described the effect of huge hanging lamps that lit the great church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople: “Thus is everything clothed in beauty…no words are sufficient to describe the illumination in the evening: you might say that some nocturnal sun filled the majestic church with light.”
[ Ariadne Galleries, New York]; Miriam N. Rosen, New York (until 2002)
Evans, Helen C., Melanie Holcomb, and Robert Hallman. "The Arts of Byzantium." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 58, no. 4 (Spring 2001). pp. 28-29.