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Wall Tabernacle in the Form of the Sepulcher of Christ
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Wall Tabernacle in the Form of the Sepulcher of Christ


Description Conservation Provenance Inscription Credit
Description In Catholic churches in Renaissance Italy, the tabernacle was a receptacle for a supply of consecrated wafers (for celebrating the Mass) frequently inserted into the wall next to the altar. This marble tabernacle was designed to suggest the entrance to Christ’s sepulcher, or tomb, with adoring angels witnessing the miracle of Christ having risen from the dead. The door to the receptacle proper (probably brass) is now missing. The consecrated wafers within would have been transformed through faith into the flesh of the departed Christ. Linear perspective creates an impression of depth, drawing the eye toward the door, even though the relief is shallow. Thistles and poppies are among the motifs featured in the decoration of the pilasters at the sides of the tabernacle. The thorns of the thistle and the blood-red blossoms of the poppy resulted in the plants being associated with Christ’s Passion and Resurrection.
Conservation

The surface was cleaned using sodium citrate and an eraser to removed accumulated grime. No attempt was made to remove staining or the uneven surface coloration.

Date Description Narrative
2/15/1974Treatmentrepaired
2/28/2017TreatmentCleaned for exhibition
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Number] Marked: 1184; [Number] Marked: 6483
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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Creator
Period
ca. 1490-1500 (Renaissance)
Medium
marble
(Sculpture)
Accession Number
27.329
Measurements
H: 38 1/2 × W: 33 9/16 × D: 2 3/4 in. (97.8 × 85.3 × 7 cm); Door opening H: 14 15/16 × W: 7 3/8 in. (38 × 18.7 cm)
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