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Casket with Scenes from Genesis and the Life of Christ
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Casket with Scenes from Genesis and the Life of Christ

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Decorating this casket are ten scenes from Genesis and two from the life of Christ. On the front of the lid are Abraham's preparations for the sacrifice of his son Isaac, ordered by God, and the Resurrected Christ. The Old Testament events were interpreted as prefigurations or prototypes of those in the New: Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son prefigured God's sacrifice of his son. However, the connection between the other pairs is not as clear; it is possible that the casket maker (a different craftsman and shop) paid little attention to the order requested by the enamellist. The false hinges on the front of the casket are also odd, but a virtually identical casket documented in the collections of the dukes of Saxony by the early 17th century supports the authenticity of this one. The overall decorative effect-relying on translucent enamels in deep garnet red, blues, and an ocher created by using a clear enamel that allows the natural color of the copper to come through is quite appealing.
Date Description Narrative
9/23/1960Treatmentcleaned; coated
  • Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1897. Burlington Fine Arts Club, London. 1897.
Provenance Sale, Christie's, London, May 12, 1893, lot 118; T. M. Whitehead, London, May 12, 1893, by purchase; Whitehead Sale, London, May 10, 1898, lot 84; George Robinson Harding, London [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, [date of acquisition unknown] by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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ca. 1535 (Renaissance)
painted enamel on copper, gilded brass, wood
Accession Number
H: 4 1/2 x L: 6 13/16 x W: 4 5/8 in. (11.4 x 17.3 x 11.8 cm)


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