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Facade Relief with Two Birds
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Facade Relief with Two Birds

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Originally painted in bright colors, many such reliefs graced the façades of the residences of wealthy Venetians in the 12th and 13th centuries. Their round shape probably continues an earlier tradition of decorating outside walls with inset ceramic plates. The marble of which they are made was brought by Venetian trading ships from Greece. Two companion pieces, with the same frames and diameter, can still be seen in Venice between the windows of a house at 1043 Calle de le Strazze. The exotic birds (probably parrots) flanking a tree here seem to allude to palace gardens, like the ones Venetian merchants would have seen in the East, and to the splendor and luxury associated with them.
  • Medieval Art in America 1800-1940, Patterns of Collecting. Palmer Museum of Art, University Park. 1995-1996.
  • Realms of Faith: Medieval and Byzantine Art from the Walters Art Museum. Museum of Biblical Art, New York; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha. 2008-2009.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, [date of acquisition unknown] by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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13th century (Medieval)
Accession Number
15 15/16 in. (40.5 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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