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Reliquary head of St. Theobald: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This reliquary was designed to enclose the cranial remains of Theobald Roggeri (1100-1150) of Alda, a northern province of Italy. Because the style of head reliquaries did not change much over time, it is difficult to date this piece exactly. The face has the stylized features of the Romanesque (eleventh and twelfth centuries) period but also draws from the Gothic period (thirteenth and fourteenth centuries) in the detailing of the beard and its facial modeling.In the Middle Ages, saints were models for Christian behavior and people made pilgrimages to visit their tombs or relics. Relics could be any object belonging to a religious leader-from the veil of the Virgin Mary to a splinter from Jesus' cross, the knucklebone of a saint, or the burial shroud of Jesus. Relics were often collected and placed in elaborately adorned caskets or boxes, some of which resemble miniature buildings or the relic itself.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009