Lamp or perfume-burner in shape of domed building
Treasury of San Marco Venice.

Sicily or Southern Italy, late 12th century
A detail of the figures on the doors


Lamp or perfume-burner in shape of domed building
Southern Italian(?), end of 12th century
Silver, partly gilt. Height 360mm, width 300mm
Tesoro, no. 142 (adapted after 1231(?) to serve as a reliquary of the Holy Blood and listed thus in the 1283 inventory: no. 1)

The double doors of the building are half-rounded; between them is a lion-mask. Each door is embossed with an allegorical figure with a nimbus decorated with pounced vermiculation, identified by an inscription. On the left door is a helmeted warrior wearing a short pleated tunic, breast-plate and long cloak. He is leaning on a spear and shield and personifies courage (“ΑΝΔΡΙΑΑ”). On the right-hand door is intelligence (“ΗΦΡΟΝΕCΙC”), depicted as a female wearing a closely fitting tunic and a long skirt. Standing between two small trees, she touches her forehead with her right index-finger. The door is hinged to open.

This precious object in San Marco, whether lamp or perfume-burner, was made at the end of the twelfth century in a milieu open to strong Byzantine but also Oriental and Western influences: Sicily or the Bari area, or perhaps Venice itself.
Source: The Treasury of San Marco Venice, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

Back to the images of this lamp or perfume-burner in shape of domed building. Treasury of San Marco Venice.



See also Infantry on Bronze Doors made by Barisano da Trani, Trani Cathedral, Italy, c.1175
Soldiers in Carved Column Capitals in the Cloister of Monreale Cathedral near Palermo in Sicily, 1174 to 1182 AD
Illustrations of Byzantine Costume & Soldiers