Pilgrim's Ampulla with Scenes of the Crucifixion (front) and the Ascension (back)

Pilgrim's Ampulla with Scenes of the Crucifixion (front) and the Ascension (back)

c. 600

Part of a set. See all set records

Tin-lead alloy with leather fragments

Overall: 6.3 x 4.6 x 1.5 cm (2 1/2 x 1 13/16 x 9/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1999.46.b

Description

The images found on the sides of surviving lead pilgrims' ampullae include scenes relating to the life of Christ, and by extension to the holy sites (loca sancta) where the events took place. Cast into the sides of this ampulla are scenes of Christ's Crucifixion and Ascension. The use of such sacred images on these vessels illustrates the early Christian belief that images were carriers of divine power. This ampulla is known as a "Monza" or "Bobbio" type after caches of similar examples discovered in those two Italian towns.

See also
Collection: 
MED - Byzantine
Department: 
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Metalwork

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