Relief with a Bird
- 10th–11th century
- Made in vicinity of Salerno, Italy
- Overall: 24 5/8 × 17 1/4 × 1 3/8 in., 30lb. (62.5 × 43.8 × 3.5 cm, 13.6kg)
- Credit Line:
- Purchase, Tianaderrah Foundation and Austin B. Chinn Gifts; Larry and Ann Burns Gift, in honor of Austin B. Chinn; Audrey and Martin Gruss Foundation, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, David H. Koch, Harry and Linda Macklowe, and Charlotte C. Weber Gifts, 2013
- Accession Number:
This relief, cut down from a larger composition, shows an imaginary bird, a cock with a griffin-like head, set within foliage. It is from Salerno, where it was said to have been built into the masonry of a church. It was reused at a later date, and cut into its present form. While its original function is unknown, it may have been part of a chancel screen, a low wall in front of the sanctuary of a church. The exotic and orientalizing bird reflects the rich interchange of design motifs between the Islamic, Sasanian, Byzantine, and south Italian cultures in the century around 1000.