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Artist: Unknown German Artist
late 15th century
Dimensions: 18.75 x 18.75 x 3.06 in. (47.63 x 47.63 x 7.78 cm)
Object Type: Vessel
Creation Place: Europe, Germany
Medium and Support: Brass
Credit Line: Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964 (64.101.1505)
Accession Number: L2013.13.07
On View: Bellarmine Hall Galleries

In Germany and the Southern Netherlands, decorative plates such as these were displayed on sideboards in homes and used in the liturgy in churches; because religious imagery was common in domestic decoration, it is uncertain where these examples were originally located.

Stags were metaphors of Christ, due to the ancient Roman belief that deer killed snakes (symbolic of Satan), and then purified themselves in the water of a stream or river (baptism). The angels surrounding the plate’s rim support a Christian interpretation of the scene, as do the lilies behind the stag which symbolize purity. The significance of the text on the stag’s banner is unknown; often in this period inscriptions were used more for decorative effect than for information, and sometimes were not even actual words.

The stag is the mascot of Fairfield University, because the University originally was part of the Diocese of Hartford, and “Hartford” refers to a stag crossing a river or stream.


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Containers designed to serve as receptacles for a liquid or other substance, usually those of circular section and made of some durable material; especially containers of this nature in domestic use, employed in connection with the preparation or serving of food or drink, and usually of a size suitable for carrying by hand.
public domain
Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government. Also, the status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright.
Refers to the period beginning in the Christianized Roman Empire in the fifth century and lasting until the Renaissance, which began in the 13th to the 15th century CE, depending upon which country is being discussed. The variety of styles that developed during the Medieval period are generally characterized by an evolution of the Greco-Roman tradition to incorporate Christian themes, the energetic spirit of the Celtic and Germanic peoples, and the thriving new towns populated by free men.
Alloy of copper and zinc, usually with copper as the major alloying element and zinc up to 40% by weight. For an alloy consisting mainly of copper, combined most often with tin, but at times also with other metals, use "bronze (metal)."

Portfolio List

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