Baptismal Font with Symbols of the Four Evangelists and Four Angels
26 3/4 x 31 1/2 in. (67.9 x 80 cm)
Unknown, North Italian
Medium and Support:
R. T. Miller Fund
Location: Currently on view
A baptismal font is a basin that serves as a vessel for the water used in the religious ceremony of Christian baptism, or initiation. This font is decorated with the symbols of the four evangelists, the writers of the Gospel books of the New Testament. The angel represents Saint Matthew; the lion, Saint Mark; the ox, Saint Luke; and the eagle, Saint John. According to Christian tradition, the four Evangelists are also equated with the four rivers of Eden that spring from the Fountain of Life, a concept fitting to the sacred water and spiritual birth associated with the ritual of Christian baptism.
[Gallery label text, June 2013]