Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Relief Panel with Two Griffins Drinking from a Cup

late 9th–early 10th century
Made in Campania, Southern Italy
South Italian
Marble, polychromy
Overall: 29 3/8 x 51 3/4 x 2 1/4 in. (74.6 x 131.4 x 5.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1930
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
The mythical griffin, a creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion, often appeared in Christian contexts. The representation of two confronted griffins is derived from ancient Near Eastern art, and the composition of this relief was probably based on imported textile designs. Another panel in Sorrento depicts griffins in a similar style, suggesting both came from the Old Cathedral there. They probably were part of the choir screen, the partition separating the altar area from the rest of the church.
Possibly from the Old Cathedral, Sorrento.; [ C. & E. Canessa, Naples (sold 1929)]; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1929–sold 1930)]
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