Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Lamp or Censer

14th century
North Italian
Gilt-copper alloy, silver, enamel en ronde bosse, rock crystal
Overall (with chain): 25 x 5 3/4 in. (63.5 x 14.6 cm) Overall (without chain): 16 3/16 x 5 3/4 in. (41.1 x 14.6 cm) chain length: 8 13/16 in. (22.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 306
This spectacular example of goldsmith's work has been attributed to Giovannino de Grassi, an artist active in northern Italy. Certain elements prompt an attribution to Venice, which recieved strong stylistic cross-currents from both northern Europe and central Italy. The piece is closely connected to other works that blend prophetic figures with twining vines and leaves to recall the Tree of Jesse–a motif representing the line of Christ's forerunners. Furthermore, the lamp inherently produces light, symbolic of revelation and education, so that the function of the object dramatically describes the theological significance of its subjects.
Baron Albert Oppenheim, Cologne(sold 1906); J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (1906–1917)
Reusens, Edmond Henri Joseph, ed. Exposition Rétrospective d'Art Industriel, Bruxelles 1888: Catalogue Officiel. Brussels: P. Weissenbruch, 1888. no. 295, pp. 119–20.

Molinier, Émile. Collection du Baron Albert Oppenheim: Tableaux et objets d'art, catalogue précédé d'une introduction. Paris: Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, 1904. no. 140, p. 60.

"Italienische Skulptur um 1400: Untersuchungen zu den Einflussbereichen." Metropolitan Museum Journal 7 (1973). pp. 5-36, fig. 5.

Wixom, William D. "Late Medieval Sculpture in the Metropolitan: 1400 to 1530." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 64, no. 4 (Spring 2007). p. 13.

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