Sanctuary lamp (Cesendello)

Date: late 15th or early 16th century

Culture: Italian, Venice (Murano)

Medium: Glass, enameled and gilt

Dimensions: Height: 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)

Classification: Glass

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1914

Accession Number: 14.83


This type of hanging lamp, known as a cesendello, was a common element in bronze chandeliers known as polychandelons in Roman and Byzantine times and later became popular in both Venice and the Islamic world as larger individual lamps. Extraordinarily delicate, few cesendelli from the Renaissance period survive. The Christian subject matter—the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary—represented in the roundels of this example confirms its patron was from Venice rather than the Islamic world.