Frieze fragment


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 504

Decorative reliefs like this one (see also 17.190.754), composed of masks, vines, and hybrid creatures – part human, part animal or plant – proliferated in the decades around 1500. Inspired by ancient sculpture, particularly Roman sarcophagi, they provided profuse detail and variety for the architectural frameworks of chapels, altars, and shrines in Venice. Renaissance sculptors routinely appropriated antique ornament, taming pagan motifs for a Christian context.

[Peter J. Bell, 2015]

Frieze fragment, Marble, Italian

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