Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Bracteate, 5th–6th century
    Scandinavian
    Gold; 1 7/8 x 1 3/4 x 3/16 in. (4.8 x 4.4 x 0.4 cm)
    Purchase, Gift of Dr. Mortimer Sackler, Theresa Sackler and Family, and John W. Byington Trust Gift, 2001 (2001.583)

    Bracteates likely derived from Roman/Byzantine portrait medallions, presented by the emperor to forge personal and political alliances. Here, however, the imperial image has been transformed into a depiction of what is probably a god from the Nordic pantheon, his oversized face balanced atop a galloping horse with horns. With their skillful workmanship and allusions to the Roman/Byzantine world, gold bracteates conveyed both the sophisticated taste and high social status of their owners, who wore them as fine jewelry and hoarded them as treasure.

    Related


    On view: Gallery 301
    Move Separator Print
    Close
  • Bracteate, 5th–6th century
    Scandinavian
    Gold; 1 7/8 x 1 3/4 x 3/16 in. (4.8 x 4.4 x 0.4 cm)
    Purchase, Gift of Dr. Mortimer Sackler, Theresa Sackler and Family, and John W. Byington Trust Gift, 2001 (2001.583)

    Move
    Close