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Shrine of Saint Amandus

Flemishearly 13th century, with later additions (Medieval)

The Walters Art Museum
Baltimore, United States

This large, church-shaped shrine once housed the relics of a 7th-century saint who served as a missionary and bishop to the western regions of present-day Belgium. St. Amandus (d. 679) also established a monastery at Elnon, near Tournai (western Belgium), where the monks later commissioned this reliquary to honor his remains. The shrine of St. Amandus, ornamented with silver columns and gilded apostles, was the focus of a strong local cult, visited by pilgrims who came for healing or in thanks for prayers answered. Given its large size and popularity, the shrine was probably placed upon a platform supported by columns behind the main altar for year-round veneration.

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  • Title: Shrine of Saint Amandus
  • Date Created: early 13th century, with later additions (Medieval)
  • Physical Dimensions: w64.1351 x h49.0538 x d30.3213 cm
  • Type: shrines; reliquaries
  • Rights: Acquired by Henry Walters, 1930, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
  • External Link: The Walters Art Museum
  • Medium: wood (oak), gilded copper, silver, brass, champlevé enamel, cloisonné enamel, rock crystal and semiprecious stones
  • Provenance: Brimo de Laroussilhe, Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henri Daguerre, Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, September 3, 1930, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
  • Place of Origin: Elnone Monastery in Tournai, Belgium
  • Inscriptions: [Transcription] In black enamel on gilt copper strips placed along the base of the roof-like lid: IN ISTA CAPSA SVNT SEQVENTES RELIQ(VIA)E B(EATI) AMANDI EP(ISCOPU)S; [Translation] In this reliquary are the following relics of the blessed Bishop Amandus; [Transcription] In black enamel on gilt copper strip placed along the base of the roof-like lid: PROESENTIS COMPOSITIVS
  • ExhibitionHistory: Reliquaries and Ritual: Medieval Objects of Devotion. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985; The Book of Kings: Art, War, and the Morgan Library's Medieval Picture Bible. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Academy of the Arts, Easton, Easton; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton; The Mitchell Gallery, Annapolis; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown. 2002; The Special Dead: A Medieval Reliquary Revealed. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2008-2009; Treasures of Heaven. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; The British Museum, London. 2010-2011
  • Artist: Flemish

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