Fragment of a Sarcophagus with Putti in a Grapevine
Overall: 14 7/8 x 22 3/4 x 4 3/4 in. (37.8 x 57.8 x 12.1 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1924
Vines that supported grape-plucking putti, or figures of children, and baskets full of the fruit on late Roman sarcophagi often refer to Dionysos, god of wine, and his promise of a blessed afterlife. Christians adopted the motif to represent a biblical passage (John 15:5)-I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit-and as a reference to the wine of the Eucharist.
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