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Lion-shaped Aquamanile

ca. 1200

Dating from around the year 1200, this lion-shaped aquamanile is a splendid example of northern German production. While the lion has a hypnotic gaze and stands proudly upright, the zoomorphic handle suggests a monster pouncing onto its back. Although it is difficult to prove, this Germanic creation appears to have drawn inspiration from Islamic forms. In the Christian context, the hybrid combination of monster and lion may represent the powers of darkness defeated by Christ, here neutralised and converted to the useful and positive function of the washing of hands and, by extension, the purification of the soul.

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Title: Lion-shaped Aquamanile
Geography: Northern Germany
Date: ca. 1200
Medium: patinated bronze
Classification: Containers, vessels
Dimensions: 29 x 32 x 11 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2012.026
Contact for images: [email protected]
Permalink: https://www.louvreabudhabi.ae/en/Explore/online-collection/lion-shaped-aquamanile
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