Collection Online

Reliquary with image of Saint Anthony of Padua
(18th century)

Medium
wax, paper, metal thread, wood, glass
Measurements
20.7 × 18.2 × 4.3 cm
Place/s of Execution
Italy
Accession Number
D438B-1980
Department
International Decorative Arts
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Bequest of Mrs Henry Marsh, 1980
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
14th - 16th Century Gallery - Painting & Decorative Arts
Level 1, NGV International
Although many medieval reliquaries were produced by lay people at great artistic centres such as the enamel workshops of Limoges, the production of reliquaries by members of religious orders remained an important phenomenon. This was especially the case during the Catholic revival of the Counter-Reformation. Manual labour had always been an important part of the communal life of women in religious orders. In the seventeenth century the production of paper filigree reliquaries by nuns became common in Germany, France and Italy. These small boxes containing fragmentary relics and images of a saint surrounded by a paper-scroll garden were intended for private devotion.