Byzantine Bronze Plaque Depicting Christ

SKU X.0156

6 th Century AD to 7 th Century AD


5″ (12.7cm) high




Eastern Mediterranean

Gallery Location



The shape and size of this bronze plaque suggest that it would have once adorned the side of a reliquary box or the front cover of a book. The image of a young Christ crowned with a nimbus halo has been gently hammered onto the surface of the plaque in a technique known as repoussé. He stands dressed in a tunic, holding an open book in his left hand and gesturing with his right. Greek inscription is present in the field on either side of his head. Other similar plaques inscribed with prayers were thought to have been votive offerings that were nailed onto columns or inside niches of chapels. There, they would continue to symbolize the physical manifestation of the prayer. This bronze plaque depicting a saint is a remnant from the Byzantine era, when Christianity fully blossomed in Europe. Here, ancient techniques of metalworking are combined with Christian iconography, producing a work that is both decorative and spiritual. – (X.0156)

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