National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS

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North French 13th Century
or
Mosan 13th Century
Aquamanile in the Form of a Lion
c. 1200, bronze with traces of gilding, 13.8 x 17.5 x 7 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Widener Collection
Image: North French or Mosan 13th Century
Aquamanile in the Form of a Lion, c. 1200
Widener Collection
1942.9.281

Association with royalty and power made the lion the most common form for aquamanilia. Aquamanilia are pitchers in the form of humans or animals that are used for liturgical or secular hand washing. This small example was designed to amuse. Lacking a handle, it would have been grasped by its body, and water would have dripped from its tongue after pouring.

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