Reliquary Bust of a Female Saint

South Netherlandish

On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 16

Bust reliquaries for the skulls of saints were placed on or near altars and, by the late Middle Ages, often assembled in large numbers in church sanctuaries. The small glazed medallion resembling jewelry once displayed additional relics. On particular feast days, such reliquaries were carried in processions.

Reliquary Bust of a Female Saint, Oak, paint, gilt, South Netherlandish

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