Fragment of a Sarcophagus with Putti in a Grapevine


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300

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.

Fragment of a Sarcophagus with Putti in a Grapevine, Marble, Roman

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