The Cleveland Museum of Art's medieval collection is internationally renowned for the importance and quality of its holdings, and consists of works produced in the following periods and cultures: Early Christian, Coptic, Byzantine, Celtic, Migration, Carolingian, Ottonian, Romanesque, and Gothic. Included are works of art produced in a variety of materials and styles. The medieval department is also responsible for the ancillary collections of European arms and armor and illuminated manuscripts, as well as Italian gold ground painting and Northern Renaissance painting before 1500.
The medieval collection exists largely as a group of masterpieces rather than a comprehensive or encyclopedic survey of the history of medieval European culture. This unique collection includes many objects that are not replicated elsewhere in the United States, including the Early Christian marbles known as the "Jonah Group," the Guelph Treasure, the Dijon Mourners, and the Gothic Table Fountain. It is also notable as it holds some of the most distinguished examples of medieval masterworks to be found in an American public institution.