Byzantine / Flask with Adoration of the Magi / 500sByzantine
Flask with Adoration of the Magi

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Anatolian; Byzantine
Creator Name-CRT: Byzantine
Title: Flask with Adoration of the Magi
View: Principal view
Creation Start Date: 500
Creation End Date: 599
Creation Date: 500s
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Materials and Techniques: Silver with gilded silver
Dimensions: H. 12 3/8 in. (31.4 cm), Max. Diam. 13 15/16 in. (10 cm)

In the varied depictions of the events of the life of Christ that appear in the art of the early church, some have details that later were omitted from the more usual narratives of the event. Here the three Magi come to offer their gifts to the Christ Child sitting upright in his mother's lap. Her high-backed latticework chair resembles those holding the seated figures, including Christ, on the "Antioch Chalice," a work close in date. Above the Christ Child is the star described in the Gospel of Matthew (2:1-12) as having led the three wise men to Christ. In addition, the archangel Gabriel is shown dramatically striding forward presenting the three Magi with their gifts to the Christ Child. The archangel is described as their guide only in the Armenian Infancy Gospel, a popular early text elaborating the gospel descriptions of Christ's early life. At the base of the flask are phoenixes, birds whose legendary rebirth from the ashes of a fire may have been meant to symbolize the salvation offered by Christ's birth. With its unusual iconography, or imagery, this work may have been used by any of the Christian communities in the East.

AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York
ID Number: 1984.196
Credit Line: Purchase, Frederick C. Hewitt Fund, by exchange; Rogers Fund and Schimmel Foundation Inc. Gift; Gifts of J. Pierpont Morgan, Mr. and Mrs. Marc B. Rojtman, Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr., Lucy W. Drexel and Anonymous, by exchange; Bequests of Mary St
Copyright: Copyright ? 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
AMICA ID: MMA_.1984.196
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright (c) 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

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