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Medieval Treasures from Hildesheim

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Bowl Base with Miracle Scenes

Date:
ca. 350–400
Culture:
Roman or Byzantine
Medium:
Glass, gold leaf
Dimensions:
Overall: Diam. 3/16 x 4 3/16 in. (0.5 x 10.7 cm)
Classification:
Glass-Gold glass
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1916
Accession Number:
16.174.2
  • Description

    Commemorations of the dead held at the deceased’s tomb focused on bidding farewell to loved ones and praying for the pardon of their sins and for their salvation. The catacombs of Rome—underground burial chambers used by all religions in the late Roman and early Byzantine era—are a particularly rich source of early Christian imagery. These images express Christian hopes of salvation. Here a beardless man dressed in a toga and the inscription “Live” are framed by miracle scenes. Beginning at the top and moving clockwise, these are Christ saving the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3), Christ healing the paralytic (Matthew 9:1–8), Tobias with the fish that the archangel Raphael advises him will help restore his father’s sight (Tobit 6), and Christ turning water into wine at Cana (John 2:3–10).

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: ZE/ES: "Live!"

  • Provenance

    Said to have been found in 1715 in the Roman catacomb of Saint Callisto; Purchase through John Marshall, New York (1916)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
463713

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