Object Image

Lamp or Censer

This spectacular example of goldsmith's work has been attributed to Giovannino de Grassi, an artist active in northern Italy. Certain elements prompt an attribution to Venice, which recieved strong stylistic cross-currents from both northern Europe and central Italy. The piece is closely connected to other works that blend prophetic figures with twining vines and leaves to recall the Tree of Jesse–a motif representing the line of Christ's forerunners. Furthermore, the lamp inherently produces light, symbolic of revelation and education, so that the function of the object dramatically describes the theological significance of its subjects.

Credit: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917...

14th century
Gilt-copper alloy, silver, enamel en ronde bosse, rock crystal
63.5 x 14.6cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection