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Tempera, gold, wood
Overall: 23.5 x 9.9 x 9 cm (9 1/4 x 3 7/8 x 3 9/16 in.)
Gift of Bruce Ferrini in memory of Robert P. Bergman 1999.229.b
John the Baptist--the first person to recognize Christ as the promised savior and the one who baptized him in the Jordan River--was one of the Byzantine Empire’s most revered saints. This box shows four scenes from the saint’s life: John’s martyrdom, Christ’s baptism, John’s birth, and the announcement of his birth to his parents. It probably once housed one of the saint’s relics; several were kept in churches and monasteries in Constantinople, including fragments of his skull and right arm and locks of his blood-clotted hair.
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