Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Reliquary Bust of Saint Juliana

Circle of Giovanni di Bartolo (Italian, active 1364–1404)
ca. 1376
Copper, gilding, gesso, and tempera paint
Overall: 11 1/16 x 9 x 8 3/8 in. (28.1 x 22.9 x 21.3 cm)
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1961
Accession Number:
Not on view
In 1376, the skull of Saint Juliana, the gift of the brothers of San Domenico to the Perugian convent dedicated to the saint, was carried in procession and received by Abbess Gabriella. This beguiling image cradled the relic and was placed in an elaborate tabernacle, where it remained until its sale in the late nineteenth century. The band along the lower edge of the bust is inscribed, on the front: [C]APUD SANTE IULIANE [head of Saint Juliana] and, on the back: ROMA. A. D[OMINO]. GUILLE[LMO] [Rome, year of Our Lord, William]. The engraving is not very accomplished, and the mention of a "William," arguably a patron, remains unexplained.
Inscription: (on copper gilt ribbon on front of base): [C]APUD. SANTE. IULIANE; (trans.: Head of St. Juliana)

(on copper gilt ribbon on back of base): ROMA. A. D[OMNO]. GUILLE[LMO]; (trans.: Rome, year of Our Lord, William).
[ Brimo de Laroussilhe, Paris (sold 1961)]
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The Middle Ages: Treasures from The Cloisters and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 18, 1970–March 29, 1970.

Chicago. Art Institute of Chicago. "The Middle Ages: Treasures from The Cloisters and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 16, 1970–July 5, 1970.

London. British Museum. "Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe," June 23, 2011–October 9, 2011.

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