Arenberg Basin Case Study

Decent Essays
1. Copper-alloy basin with Christian and Islamic motifs, probably northern Iraq, mid-13th century AD. (1247-1249), brass inlaid with silver, H: 22.5 x 50.0 x 50.0 cm. Probably Damascus, Syria. The Freer Gallery of Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Like the brass canteen in the adjacent case, this impressive d’Arenberg Basin integrates Christian and Islamic motifs in its designs. On the exterior, an intricate Kufic inscription band is punctuated with five medallions depicting scenes from a life a Christ: the Annunciation, the Virgin and Child Enthroned, the Raising of Lazarus, the Entry into Jerusalem, and the Last Supper. A lively game of polo takes place in the wide central band, while real and imaginary animals are interspersed with medallions of musicians in the bottom of the register. On the exterior of the basin, thirty-nine saints stand under a row of ogival arches. Both the exterior and interior inscriptions mention Sultan Al-Malik Al-Salih
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This coffin fundamentally preoccupies the room due to its scale and the treasure of imageries engraved into the marble in both high and low relief which give the sarcophagus a special attention. There is interesting details about the sarcophagus of Junius Bassus because while it contains many images of Christianity, the Seasons Sarcophagus suggests a look at a specimen of a pagan sarcophagus, and the two fragments look indefinitely alike, the images they cover ultimately differentiates them. Moreover, the pair is in the center of the carved side and it is fenced with a zodiac ring. Apparently, their faces’ expressions look tranquil as a substitute of sober. So, the manuscript displayed in the wall informs that the zodiac ring signifies the resting place of souls and it represents the holiness and religious spirituality related to the Roman’s life after death. (See pictures number 6 and
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