Essay on Museum Object Assignment

Published: 2021/11/17
Number of words: 535

The museum object selected for assignment includes a Byzantine Cameo, which represents one of the most glyptic museum collections from the past in the United States. The image was published in the year 1889 by an anonymous artist. The iconographic representation of the image of Christ was valued during the Byzantine era. The image was curved by an anonymous artist who used green oriental jasper to illustrate important aspects about Christ (Popovich, 1962). The piece of art was curved to illustrate the humble nature of Christ and other important Christian values. For instance, the garments in the image depict a humble and down to earth person, who should b emulated in society. The conflict between Christianity and other aspects within the Byzantine Empire prompted artists to use different approaches to improve its effect in society (Expedition Magazine – Penn Museum, 2020). The image is one of the artworks made in the Empire indicating the impact of art in the spread of Christianity.

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The carved image of Jesus Christ was made out of green oriental jasper with darker veins of different colors. The darker veins are symbolic and have resulted in the image gaining a new title, “bloodstone”. The stone has maintained its shiny surface, polish and indicates a great deal of antiquity from ancient Byzantine (Expedition Magazine – Penn Museum, 2020). The image is well preserved to maintain its original quality and it is used to depict early carvings of Jesus Christ. Christ is an important figure in Christian life, which is why most Christians value the carving that has been preserved for several years. The fact that Christians valued the image and life of Christ indicates that the carving meant a lot to the church. The attire of Jesus in the image is illustrative of the simple life that Christians should lead.

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The record of ownership of the Byzantine can be dated back to the establishment of the empire before A.D 300. The empire believed in the word of God and Jesus as the Messiah, which is why images of his carvings emerged. The object can be linked to emergence and spread of Christianity, where art played a crucial role. A close examination of the image indicates that the image depicts important aspects that should be followed by Christians (Popovich, 1962). The humble nature and simplistic attitude is important in promoting the spread of Christianity. Equally, the stone used to carve the image illustrates one of the purest cameos that exist since ancient times. The fact that it has it has maintained its qualities justifies the why it was used. The image is one of the iconographic items from the Byzantine empire that illustrate the image of Jesus Christ.

A Byzantine Cameo

Figure 1: A Byzantine Cameo ()

The green jasper cameo of Christ Pantocrator
Museum Object Number: 29-128-575

References 2020. Expedition Magazine – Penn Museum. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 September 2020].

Popovich, L., 1962. A Byzantine Cameo. Expedition4(3), p.28.

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