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Fresco Fragment with a Youth

Early Medieval
8th century - 9th century
77.3 cm x 35.4 cm (30 7/16 in. x 13 15/16 in.)
tempera on plaster

On view


This fragment of a wall painting is said to have come from the catacombs around Rome. Behind the figure, draperies can be seen, extending above head-level, suggesting that this figure may be a boy depicted in the company of adults. He is crossing his arms over his chest in what may be interpreted as a pious gesture. He is likely part of a family group, perhaps a donor portrait group for a larger composition.

- J. Hanson

Catalogue des sculptures, tableaux, tapis etc. formant la collection d'objects d'art du Musée van Stolk, Jansstraat 50, Harlem (The Hague, 1912), 78, no. 1046, with fig.

Musée van Stolk: 300 sculptures et tableaux: Xe-XVIe siècles [Sale Catalogue, May 8-9, 1928] (Amsterdam, 1928), 39.

Handbook of the Collection (Washington, D.C., 1946), 107, no. 191.

The Dumbarton Oaks Collection, Harvard University (Washington, D.C., 1955), 152, no. 295.

M. C. Ross, Metalwork, Ceramics, Glass, Glyptics, Painting (Washington, D.C., 1962), 106-107, no. 127, pl. 59.

Handbook of the Byzantine Collection (Washington, D.C., 1967), 106, no. 357.

Acquisition History
Purchased from Joseph Brummer (dealer) New York, by Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, 1939.

Collection of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, Washington, D.C., 1939-1940.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Byzantine Collection, Washington, D.C., November, 1940.