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Plaque with Christ before Pilate
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Plaque with Christ before Pilate

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This work may be from a set of engraved rock crystal plaques depicting the life of Christ that, according to the writer Giorgio Vasari, Giovanni Bernardi completed in 1547 for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1520-89). They were probably intended to be set into a casket by another craftsman. Bernardi was one of the most famous rock crystal engravers of the Renaissance. This plaque-with its closely packed, relief-like arrangement, oval shape, and tightly drawn figures-points to his familiarity with Roman intaglio carving on gems. The artist signed the plaque with his first name (in Latin) and F, short for "fecit" ("made this"). The delicate frame in gold and detailing in painted enamel may be from around 1600; framing the piece turns it into an independent object.
Date Description Narrative
5/02/1984Examinationexamined for exhibition
  • The Taste of Maryland: Art Collecting in Maryland 1800-1934. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
Provenance Cook [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Cook Sale, July 1925, no. 469; Sadie Jones (Mrs. Henry Walters), New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Mrs. Henry Walters Sale, New York, December 4, 1943, no. 996; Walters Art Museum, 1943, by purchase.
Inscriptions [Translation]: Giovanni F
Credit Museum purchase with funds provided by the S. & A.P. Fund, 1943

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ca. 1547 (Renaissance)
rock crystal; gold frame with enamel, pearls, rubies
Accession Number
3 15/16 x 4 3/4 in. (10 x 12 cm)
  • Italy, Rome (Place of Origin)
  • Italy, Faenza (Place of Origin)


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