Description This sculptural fragment was probably part of a church chancel barrier that separated the congregation from the altar; the groove on the left side would have held one side of a wooden or stone screen. It is carved with grapes, grape leaves, and a bird eating grapes, very similar to the ornament on the 8th-century Theodota sarcophagus from Pavia (the capital of the Langobardic kingdom). This style, which has no parallels in earlier Langobardic art, betrays strong Byzantine influence.
Provenance Joseph Brummer [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Brummer Sale, Joseph Brummer Gallery, New York, June 9, 1949, lot 574; Walters Art Museum, June 9, 1949, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase, 1949
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