Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Aquamanile in the Form of a Lion

Date:
ca. 1400
Geography:
Made in Nuremberg
Culture:
German
Medium:
Copper alloy
Dimensions:
Overall: 13 1/8 x 13 3/8 x 4 3/4 in., 11.764lb. (33.3 x 34 x 12.1 cm, 5336g) Overall PD: 12 9/16 x 4 5/8 x 12 1/2 in. (31.9 x 11.8 x 31.8 cm) Thickness PD: 3/50-7/50 in. (0.16-0.35 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1994
Accession Number:
1994.244
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 10
This elaborate water vessel was intended for handwashing. A specialty of metalworkers in German-speaking lands for centuries—from the twelfth to the fifteenth—they are called aquamanilia, from the Latin words for water (aqua) and hand (manus).

Broad-chested, mane protruding, and mouth open, the lion is unabashedly proud and alert. To create this exceptional king of the beasts, the artist first made a rough clay model and then molded wax around it. Next he coated the wax with a mixture of brick, clay, and ashes before melting the wax to form a space that could be filled with molten metal.
Gross, London ; Sotheby's, London(July 7, 1994, lot 16)
New York. Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture. "Lions, Dragons, and Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages. Vessels for Church and Table," July 12, 2006–October 15, 2006.

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. "Earth, Sea, Sky. Nature in Western Art: Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 6, 2012–January 4, 2013.

Beijing. National Museum of China. "Earth, Sea, Sky. Nature in Western Art: Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 8, 2013–May 9, 2013.

Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 210, pp. 172–73.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 73, pp. 108–109, 196.

Barnet, Peter, and Pete Dandridge, ed. Lions, Dragons, & Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table. New York: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 2006. no. 20, pp. 142-145.

Dandridge, Pete. "Exquisite Objects, Prodigious Technique: Aquamanilia, Vessels of the Middle Ages." In Lions, Dragons, & Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table, edited by Peter Barnet, and Pete Dandridge. New York: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 2006. no. 20, pp. 38, 42, 47-48, 54-56, fig. 3-13, Appears in Table 1 of chapter.

Mende, Ursula. "Late Gothic Aquamanilia from Nuremberg." In Lions, Dragons, & Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table, edited by Peter Barnet, and Pete Dandridge. New York: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 2006. no. 20, pp. 20-22.

Newman, Richard. "Analysis of Core and Investment Samples from Some Aquamanilia." In Lions, Dragons, & Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table, edited by Peter Barnet, and Pete Dandridge. New York: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 2006. no. 20, pp. 57-59, 62, Featured in Table 1 of chapter.

Dandridge, Pete. "Gegossene Phantasien: Mittelalterliche Aquamanilien und ihre Herstellung." In Bild und Bestie: Hildesheimer Bronzen der Stauferzeit, edited by Michael Brandt. Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2008. p. 93; p. 92, n. 73.

Evans, Helen C., ed. The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions – Online Catalogue. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008.

Barnet, Peter. "Medieval Europe." In Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1977–2008, edited by James R. Houghton. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009. p. 24.

Barnet, Peter, and Atsuyuki Nakahara, ed. Earth, Sea, Sky: Nature in Western Art – Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tokyo: Yomiuri Shimbun, 2012. no. 45, pp. 98, 225-226.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 113.

Mende, Ursula. Die mittelalterlichen Bronzen im Germanischen Nationalmuseum: Bestandskatalog. Nuremberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, 2013. p. 209, Listed as 1994.224.



Related Objects

Aquamanile in the Form of a Dragon

Date: ca. 1200 Medium: Copper alloy Accession: 47.101.51 On view in:Gallery 1

Ewer

Date: late 15th century Medium: Silver gilt, enamel, and paint Accession: 53.20.1 On view in:Gallery 16

Aquamanile in the Form of a Soldier on Horseback

Date: early 15th century Medium: Copper alloy Accession: 47.101.54 On view in:Gallery 10

Aquamanile in the Form of a Lion

Date: ca. 1200 Medium: Copper alloy with inlaid glass Accession: 47.101.52 On view in:Gallery 1

The Virgin Mary and Five Standing Saints above Predella Panels

Date: 1440–46 Medium: Pot-metal glass, white glass, vitreous paint, silver stain Accession: 37.52.1–.6 On view in:Gallery 16