Exhibitions/ Art Object

Relief of a Stylite Saint

5th–6th century
Made in Syria
Overall: 33 1/4 x 29 15/16 x 7 5/16 in. (84.5 x 76 x 18.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin—Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunst, Berlin (9/63)
Not on view
The bearded stylite saint in monk’s garb sits atop his column as a dove, a messenger of God, places a wreath over his hood. One of his followers climbs a ladder, swinging a censer to help evoke his aid. Found near Qal‘at Sem‘an, the saint may be Saint Symeon the Elder whose pilgrimage site there drew the devout from across the ancient world, including Ghassanid Arab Christians who protected the Byzantine borders in the region.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.