The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 27, 2024

Reliquary Box with Scenes from the Life of John the Baptist

Reliquary Box with Scenes from the Life of John the Baptist

Location: 105 Byzantine


John the Baptist--the first person to recognize Christ as the promised savior and the one who baptized him in the Jordan River--was one of the Byzantine Empire’s most revered saints. This box shows four scenes from the saint’s life: John’s martyrdom, Christ’s baptism, John’s birth, and the announcement of his birth to his parents. It probably once housed one of the saint’s relics; several were kept in churches and monasteries in Constantinople, including fragments of his skull and right arm and locks of his blood-clotted hair.
  • Cleveland Museum of Art, “Cleveland Museum of Art Acquires Rare Chinese Paintings, Baroque Porcelain Plaque and Other New Acquisitions Exhibited with Hanging Scrolls,” December 20, 1999, Cleveland Museum of Art Archives.
    Cleveland Museum of Art, and Holger A. Klein. Sacred Gifts and Worldly Treasures: Medieval Masterworks from the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2007. Mentioned and reproduced: P. 90-91, no. 26
    Bagnoli, Martina. Treasures of heaven: saints, relics, and devotion in medieval Europe. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 2010. Reproduced: cat. no. 52, p. 93
  • {{cite web|title=Reliquary Box with Scenes from the Life of John the Baptist|url=false|author=|year=1300s|access-date=27 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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